During Super Bowl week in February, Mike Raffensperger, then FanDuel’s chief marketing officer, sat down with Kay Adams, the popular host of the NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” show.
Adams knew at the time that she would voluntarily leave the series after the NFL Draft and was open to seeing what opportunities she could pursue. Raffensperger, meanwhile, was trying to recruit her to join the company.
The two have now joined forces as Adams on September 6 began hosting his own show on FanDuel TV, a cable channel known until this month as TVG, a horse racing network. FanDuel and TVG are both owned by Flutter Entertainment plc, an Ireland-based company whose shares are traded on the London Stock Exchange.
The rebranding represents Flutter’s desire to generate more business for FanDuel, which job its first quarterly profit in the second quarter of this year. Beat Noted in an investor presentation last month, FanDuel held a 51% market share of gross gaming revenue share in the states where FanDuel operates. But the company faces competition in the United States from DraftKings, BetMGM and many other sports betting operators who spend heavily to attract new customers.
While Adams’ show primarily covers football and other mainstream sports from 11 a.m. to noon Eastern time each weekday, FanDuel TV still almost exclusively broadcasts live horse racing and recorded, a sport with a long betting tradition.
FanDuel has also signed a licensing agreement with Sportradar to stream over 3,000 hours of live sports from overseas, such as basketball from Australia, China, France and Germany. Additionally, the company also has deals with former NFL bettor and sports media star Pat McAfee and The Ringer, the company that former ESPN star Bill Simmons founded in 2016 and sold four years later. to Spotify for over $200 million. FanDuel already has marketing deals with McAfee and The Ringer, but that wouldn’t reveal details of the types of shows McAfee and The Ringer will produce or how often those shows will air.
For now, people who have watched TVG won’t see much difference with the new FanDuel TV brand, but Raffensperger hopes the station will expand its reach by adding Adams and other top sports media talent and airing events other than horse racing. Much of the content will stream on FanDuel+, a free over-the-top streaming platform for people who have FanDuel accounts.
“There’s absolutely a good foundation there, because we show horse racing, like we show really engaging conversational programming powered by some really great talent, like we have other live sports in the form of international basketball and others, we know it will increase your loyalty to FanDuel and your likelihood to bet with us when you bet,” Raffensperger said.
FanDuel will not pursue major streaming deals with established US professional leagues as these are expensive and most are unavailable. Instead, it will look at niche sports in the United States and other countries. In some offers, sports leagues and/or teams will share revenue if viewers wager on the games using the FanDuel app or website.
“We focus on tertiary sports that may not be able to find mainstream distribution through traditional media companies,” said Raffensperger, who was promoted to commercial director of FanDuel in July. “FanDuel offers, I think, a really unique opportunity to introduce your sport to millions of really committed sports fans and to make some really creative deals where we structure things in a way that we share the same upwards of the growth of this sport from a betting perspective.
Raffensperger added that Flutter expects the FanDuel TV brand to also help drive sponsorship and partnership revenue.
“Companies are looking to reach our audience of mostly young, affluent, tech-savvy men,” Raffensperger said. “It’s a very attractive demographic that they’ve historically reached through free games or branded bets or branded odds boosts…FanDuel TV just represents a new platform for them to expand that relationship. promotional with us and reach our audience in a different way.”
Patrick Crakes, a former Fox Sports programming executive who now runs his own consulting firm, said the rebranding made sense for Flutter as it seeks to expand its betting market share.
“I think it makes sense,” Crakes said. “It’s about taking a profitable business (in TVG) and marketing it by renaming it. And then, overall, (FanDuel) is a global company that is already profitable. They are in a great position to grow their business, and as the games get too extensive, roll (other sports betting operators).
For Adams, joining FanDuel TV was an opportunity to work in a startup environment. It reminds her of about a decade ago when she was one of the first hosts of SiriusXM’s fantasy sports station and six years ago when she helped launch “Good Morning Football.”
Adams said FanDuel gave him the flexibility to work on potential projects with NFL Media and other sports media entities while working on his daily show. But for now, she’s focused on improving the series and evaluating what works and what doesn’t.
“What (Good Morning Football) looked like on day one, it didn’t look like day 30,” Adams said in an interview earlier this month. “There’s something about this process that I really like. In six years on Good Morning Football, I felt really good about what I had done. I’m really, really proud of it. I loved it so much, but I’m really excited about what’s happening with FanDuel. It’s similar that way. I’m no pioneer, but I’m often not an idiot. I see where sports are going and I’m curious about it.