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John Skipper Calls Out Traditional Sports Television

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Former ESPN President and Executive Chairman of the Perform Group, which owns streaming giant DAZN took the stage at the Web Summit in Lisbon on Tuesday to be interviewed by his former employee about his new venture. Jemele Hill did not touch on either her or Skipper’s exit from ESPN in their conversation. Instead, they focused on Skipper’s current employer and how it reflects a changing sports media.

Skipper said that streaming services like DAZN have more information about who is using their product and how it is being used than traditional television does. He said that allows the company to make more focused changes to their presentation when necessary. Broadcasting and cable rely on what he called an “anachronistic” ratings system.

If you’re watching on cable or broadcast television, it is so anachronistic that it still relies upon Nielsen ratings, which are done on a sampling technology so that it infers that X number of people watched. They don’t really know how many people watched, and they don’t have any idea who in the house is watching. They have no idea, really. They know when the television set was cut on. They know when it was cut off. And maybe someone’s watching, or maybe they’re in the back yard gardening while the TV set is on. We know when someone’s engaged. We can then do things to make that experience better.

He also promised that DAZN and other streaming services will change the way in-game advertising is done during live events.

We do not have advertising in our subscription service right now, but we will. And what we will do is just as we will disrupt the way that we acquire the ability to watch sports through an app, we will disrupt the way that advertising works. We really will follow the Facebook/Google model — we will understand things about you that will allow us to target ads.

We will not run 30-second ads in pods of 5-6 of those so they see the same car ad 14 times in a 3-hour game. We will not interrupt games in a way that are unnatural, the way they do on television. I know this because I negotiated it: We had the rights to run 78 commercials during the average American football game. That is a lot of commercials to watch. What we will do is figure out a way to integrate content into the production.

In the United States, DAZN is largely focused on combat sports, but it does have the streaming rights to a number of American sports leagues for international distribution. Skipper has a history of betting big on live events. You can cite the deal he made with the NBA while at ESPN or the nine-figure deal between DAZN and boxer Canelo Alvarez that he just shepherded.

It will be interesting to see how Skipper’s vision pays off for DAZN. Is a streaming service buoyed by combat sports capable of pulling off such a grand vision, or will we see DAZN put together more mega-deals in the future to acquire streaming rights to major professional leagues?

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North Carolina Lawmakers Expect Mobile Sports Betting By Football Season

“North Carolina’s neighbors, including Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia, have already legalized mobile sports betting.”

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It is already legal to place bets in North Carolina on sporting events. It is just incredibly difficult. Bets can only be made inside of 2 Cherokee casinos in the western part of the state. That could change before football season.

The State Senate, which is politically divided, passed SB 688 last year. If it makes it through the State House, it would become law and North Carolinians could then theoretically place bets online legally.

SB 88 was sponsored by Paul Lowe, a Democrat from Forsyth County. He told WRAL-TV in Raleigh that he is optimistic about what will happen in the House.

“We just want to make sure we have drummed up the votes, and I think we have,” he said. “I feel confident about it.”

North Carolina’s neighbors, including Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia, have already legalized mobile sports betting.

Politically, North Carolina is considered a purple state. That is showing up in the effort to legalize mobile wagering. One of the bill’s biggest advocates in the House is Jason Saine, a Republican from Lincoln County.

“We’re ready to rock ‘n’ roll. I’ve not heard any new opposition,” he told WRAL. “I think we have a pretty smooth glide path once we do kind of start rolling into session.”

The state’s Lottery Commission would oversee sports gambling. If the SB 688 is passed, operators would pay $500,000 for a five-year license, which can be renewed for $100,000. They would also pay an 8% tax on adjusted gross revenue. Both of those numbers are low compared to other states.

“Once we pass this bill, there’s some tweaks we’re going to do,” Lowe said. “But right now we’re just trying to get it out of the chute.”

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Lachlan Murdoch: ‘FOX Bet Has Been Disappointing’

“In a recent interview, he told Axios that the app has around 6.5 million users since its launch.”

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FOX is the only network to have a stake in the sports betting industry. The network partnered with FanDuel to launch FOX Bet in 2019. So far, FOX CEO Lachlan Murdoch has not been pleased with the results.

In a recent interview, he told Axios that the app has around 6.5 million users since its launch. He called the performance thus far “disappointing.”

Sports betting is a crowded marketplace. It is possible that players are watching games on FOX and seeing advertisements for the betting app, but are choosing to trust their experience to companies like FanDuel, DraftKings, Caesars, and other companies that are more commonly associated with gambling.

Murdoch believes that a dispute with FanDuel owner Flutter has set FOX Bet back. The two companies have been involved in a standoff over who owns which aspects of FOX Bet and what price FOX is obligated to pay in order to acquire an 18.6% stake in FanDuel. Murdoch says everything “should be resolved by the summer.”

In March, Bloomberg reported that the app is struggling to find new players. FOX Bet is one of the betting partners of the NFL and can advertise its services during games in the fall, but its potential is hindered by only being available to bettors in four states.

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Online Sports Betting Not Happening In Maryland In 2022

“Some state regulators had expressed optimism at one point that online sports betting in Maryland would go live by the end of this year or in time for next year’s Super Bowl.”

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Online sports betting in Maryland appears to have no shot of happening this year due mainly to the fact that the state’s oversight committee on sports wagering is hung up on how to bring women and minority-owned businesses into the fold.

The Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Committee (SWARC) is currently awaiting results of a disparity study by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency.

Some state regulators had expressed optimism at one point that online sports betting in Maryland would go live by the end of this year or in time for next year’s Super Bowl. But given where SWARC is, the whole process is being held up to the point that it’ll likely be later in 2023 before residents can use their phones to place bets.

It’s been just over a year since Governor Larry Hogan signed legislation that legalized sports betting in the state. Since then, five casinos in the state have opened retail sportsbooks.

The casinos have handled more than $132 million in bets since December. $26.9 million in wagers were placed in April alone.

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