- FanDuel, Caesars Sportsbook, and DraftKings are expected to bid on NBA live game rights.
- The live rights take effect in 2025, but negotiations are set to begin in 2022.
- ESPN/ABC and TNT currently split NBA live game rights.
LAS VEGAS - Gambling companies are expected to bid on NBA streaming rights once the current broadcast deals have expired.
FanDuel, DraftKings, and Caesars sportsbooks are expected to bid for NBA live game rights during negotiations that will begin in 2022.
Any bids won by one of these gambling companies would not take effect until 2025, when the current deals expire.
The idea behind this concept for sportsbooks is that they would be able to offer live streaming games integrated with sports betting content.
The current NBA live game rights are held by ABC/ESPN and TNT, with games being split between the two networks.
Per FrontOfficeSports, the present deal gives the NBA $2.6 billion a year in exchange for live rights, but the 2025 deal could see an excess of $8 billion.
Sports Betting Expansion In America
Only a few years ago, a conversation like this was unimaginable. PASPA, a law that banned sports betting, was overturned in 2018, and now 27 states have functioning state-regulated sports betting options with more industries pending nationwide.
Several of the major sportsbooks in the US began as daily fantasy sports companies, so even states that haven't regulated sports betting yet should still be able to offer streaming video.
Disney, which owns ESPN/ABC, one of the current rights holders, has noted the interest in NBA streaming from sports betting companies.
“We’re starting to see sports betting companies be interested,” said Jimmy Pitaro, Disney’s chairman. “It’s a very different environment. So from an ESPN enterprise perspective, the disruption is coming from all of this new competition.”
Pitaro also noted that this is the new normal - competition from newer media enterprises, or companies that are only beginning to enter the media market.
“Pretty much every time we sit down at the table with a rights owner, league or a conference, we’re competing not just against the incumbents, or the traditional media players, we are competing against both the large new media enterprises and also some of the smaller startups,” Pitaro said.
With major online gambling companies in the market for live sports rights, it looks as though sports betting has hit a point of mainstream relevance that would be hard to roll back on at this point.