Did anyone bet on the Golden State Warriors to be in five straight NBA Finals? Probably not since Las Vegas casinos would have certainly leaked this amazing sports wagering news by now after shorthanded DubNation swept the Portland Trail Blazers in 3 straight second half comeback games for the ages culminated by triple-double performances by Steph Curry and Draymond Green in game 4, a first in NBA Playoffs history by two players on the same team. The Sports Techie community blog enters its tenth year of existence in 2020 and we’ve had our digital thumb on the trending sports tech topic of gambling since before the past decade and into the future. The Western Conference Champions had to go through the red-hot Houston Rockets and highly emotional Blazers Nation (RIP PGA) to reach the finals and whomever they face next might not stand a betting chance which is something you can bet on depending on the state you reside in.
U.S. Sports Betting Acceptance
Now that the technology has matured, gambling on sport is legal outside of Nevada because of the Supreme Court ruling last July allowing each state the right to decide whether to offer it, just like marijuana. More than a dozen states outside are doing so led by New Jersey.
Fans are deciding how to bet fueled by data and analytics provided by the likes of the new kid on the block, The Action Network, a sports betting media company offering subscriptions. At the the same time, the old guard broadcasting companies and large media outlets are now offering the same services plus more whether you like it as a traditional viewer or not.
Watch all your screens during live games, pre-game and post-game, and you will notice it now comes loaded with expert insights for bettors centered around wagering on sporting events that includes eSports. This new norm is talking the United States by storm yet across Europe it’s been safely regulated for years.
Case in point, a significant deal occurred this week when daily fantasy sports provider FanDuel partnered with live OTT sports streaming service fuboTV, making it a first in the industry. FanDuel will provide their betting data to fuboTV’s streaming platform in N.J. only to begin with. FanDuel becomes the official and exclusive sportsbook, dfs, online casino, and horse racing partner while retaining the right to be the exclusive advertisers across those verticals. For now, fuboTV will not offer sports betting to their subscribers through FanDuel. Look for that to change in the future, imo.
The NBA led by progressive commissioner Adam Silver, was the first professional sports league in the U.S. to truly grasp this societal change across America regarding wagering on sports and made a wise decision to change their stance on the legalities of betting, eventually followed by the NFL, MLB and NHL.
Bet on Apps, TV Will Follow
When enough mobile betting happens on apps, television will follow suit if it hasn’t already. According to Axios, Fox Sports launched “Fox Bet” with an entire platform under construction designed specifically for online betting and gaming.
At the same time, NBC and CBS are not going to add sports betting services and content to their TV broadcasts yet but are doing so via their direct to consumer OTT streaming services. I can’t see this old school holdout lasting very much longer.
Turner Sports and Bleacher Report also joined in the mix via their new deal to put a Las Vegas based BR Studio inside Caesars Palace Sports Book.
Look for Sinclair Broadcast Group to further shake up this fast-growing industry after purchasing 20 RSN’s from Disney for a total of $10 billion giving them all the infrastructure and tools necessary for a massive TV and web deployment.
Sports Techie, the final episode of the Game of Thrones broke the live TV viewing record with 19.3 viewers but it would only rank around 71st when compared to all the fan eyeballs that watched individual NFL games last season. The 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville had 47.5 million viewers over three days to give you some additional perspective on how much live sport events dominates the American airwaves over all other cable or non-cable content.
With these facts in mind, might the upcoming NBA Finals between the Warriors and the winner of the Eastern Conference Finals matchup between the favorite, Milwaukee Bucks, and the underdogs, the Toronto Raptors, also crush the compelling GoT finale numbers with the addition of sticky betting content? After the Raptors upset the Bucks on the road game five last night, fans across Canada and North America will do their best to make it so. It may not happen this year, but it will soon enough.
Will the lone Canadian NBA team supported by the fun fans at Jurassic Park watch parties be destined for their first NBA Finals appearance, or will the massive front-line of the Buck’s, led by the Greek Freak, a MVP candidate, playing in the new Fiserv Forum, move on? The odds have certainly shifting in Toronto’s favor as they try to close out the series during game six at Scotiabanks arena.
Come these NBA Finals and beyond, those media companies that don’t offer betting content are officially stuck in the “We The North” area of GoT’s where grumpy John Snow reigns supreme.
It’s not too early to lay down a futures bet on the Warriors to make it six straight NBA finals appearance in 2020, with or without Kevin Durant.
See ya later sportstechie in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world!
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