Nexstar Media Inc., one of the country’s largest media TV companies, and SportsGrid Inc., a streaming video network that provides extensive coverage of sports betting, today announced a multi-year agreement to launch the “SportsGrid Network,” the nation’s first-ever digital network devoted to sports betting and fantasy sports.
The SportsGrid Network will launch on September 1st across nine digital subchannels licensed to Nextar in nine U.S. markets, including San Francisco, Washington D.C., Tampa, Portland, Nashville, Norfolk, Grand Rapids, Knoxville, and Des Moines. With this expansion of Sports Betting into its own designated network in some of the countries biggest TV markets, optimism is high for the new platform. But it begs the question: what does this all mean for the larger sportsbook industry?
Hoping to Hit it Big
The new SportsGrid Network will not just be placed in states where Sports Betting is legal. Famously California is one of the biggest markets that is remaining as a standout from the hype of legalized sports gambling.
This news indicates a sort of want to change the tides in that regard. With an entire network dedicated to sports betting, perhaps the 2022 referendum on the issue could be influenced by an influx of new sports betters coming from reinvigorated interest due to the deal.
The First of Many?
It’s no secret that major media networks are starting to take advantage of the new world of sports gambling. The earliest adopter of this was Barstool releasing its own individual sportsbook. However, many media brands have followed suit. For example, Fox Sports, the host of the SuperBowl, has created its own FOX BET app and is actively looking to get into a partnership. In addition, ESPN has expressed interest in increasing its sports betting content, especially as football season approaches.
It appears that this SportsGrid Network will be the first of many, as so many media companies look to cash in on this new opportunity. Along with this, it gives the ability of other sportsbooks to get individualized deals with these networks, thus allowing them to market directly to their target audience.
Along with this, and similar to the news that the NFL is creating contracts with sports betting websites and agencies, Nexstar creating an entire network dedicated to sports gambling shows that big companies are investing in sports betting, and it is garnering major interest from all sorts of businesses. This is good for the industry, as the bigger the influx of cash flow, the greater the ability to take that cash flow and put it towards garnering more active customers.
All of this cash inflow bets the question, however, does it work? The numbers say yes, at least in Michigan, another state that recently passed online sports betting, has experienced a boom in revenue across various platforms. Along with this, however, states that have had legal sports gambling for some time, such as Indiana, have seen an increase in the number of new users even during the slow sports betting season of late July and early August. So overall, this increase in cash flow is almost proven to increase user engagement nationwide.