Fox Makes Its Move Into US Sports Gambling with FoxBet App

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Fox Corp recently became the major U.S. media company to put its name behind a sports betting app FoxBet and certainly won’t be the last.

The media company and its partner, The Stars Group (TSG) are planning this fall to launch both a free game that will award cash prizes to players who correctly predict the outcome of sports games and regulated betting opportunity under the Fox Bet band name.

New York-based Fox also agreed to buy a 4.99 percent stake in TSG Group for $236 million and signed a 25-year “commercial agreement” with the Canadian company. The agreement gives Fox the right to buy a 50 percent stake in TSG’s U.S. business prior to the 10th anniversary of the deal.

“Digital sports wagering represents a growing market opportunity that allows us to diversify our revenue streams, connect directly with consumers and expand the reach of the Fox Sports brand,” said Fox Sports CEO Eric Shanks in a press release.

Fox and The Stars Group were mum on the details of FoxBet App launch including the specific markets they are targeting. Success, though, isn’t a given. New Jersey is currently the only state with healthy competition in the sports betting market, which is dominated by FanDuel and Draft Kings. Gambling in the U.S. is regulated on a state-by-state basis, meaning sports betting businesses will have 50 markets and 50 sets of rules to deal with instead of one.

Other media companies are also eager to get a piece of the action in sports betting but are taking different approaches.

What About Walt Disney, Comcast and CBS

For instance, Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger has said the company has no interest in “the business of gambling” though it reportedly considered investing in DraftKings. Even so, Disney’s ESPN sports cable channel has been ratcheting up the amount of gambling-related content.

In the wake of its $71.3 billion deal with Fox, Disney now owns a position in DraftKings, according to LegalSportsReport.com.

Comcast, the parent of NBC, has invested in FanDuel and has more than a dozen regional U.S. sports networks so it could make a big splash in sports betting if it wants to. The Philadelphia-based company has registered several sports betting URL’s including NBC SportsBook.com though it doesn’t appear to be moving with any sense of urgency.

Finally, CBS has dipped its toe in the sports betting market and likes what it sees. Former CEO Les Moonves remarked last year that the category had “unbelievable upside” in terms of ad sales. The parent company of the most U.S. watched television network launched “SportsLine Edge” show on its CBS Sports HQ streaming service last year with content aimed at viewers interested in sports betting and daily fantasy sports.

Read the review of the Fox Bet sportsbook here. 

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