NHL Deal Underscores Importance of Sports Betting Partnerships

NHL Deal Underscores Importance of Sports
Cheyne Gateley/VIP

Last week, the NHL announced a deal with PointsBet, making the sportsbook platform its official betting partner in a deal that will also see the NHL receive around 43,000 PointsBet shares worth more than $500,000 (the deal’s total worth hasn’t been disclosed). 

25 states and the capital now have some form of sports betting either operational or legalized. Naturally, media companies are among those seizing the opportunity for massive partnerships over the last two years. 

Legal sports betting is still in its early stages, making it an exciting and lucrative sector for companies to expand into in order to access a userbase large enough to crash these platforms during the Super Bowl earlier this month. 

But the mere existence of sports betting as a new viable, legal market isn’t the only reason why media companies want to put their cards on its table. 

Read the full special report

NBCUniversal’s 10-year deal with the NHL is also set to expire in 2021, with NBC planning to shut down its main sports network by years end, further exemplifying a heightened need to expand revenue streams into sports betting as it becomes increasingly uncertain whether broadcast sports audiences will ever return to pre-pandemic levels. 

Sports betting is only expected to grow, providing a potential rich new revenue stream that can offset declines that could come as cord-cutting dwindles the pay-TV audience, which could impact rights and advertising fees. 

This article is an extension of Variety Intelligence Platform’s third special report on sports betting.