The website DraftKings just secured $300 million in funding, with investors including Fox Sports, Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer. The site allows people to play and bet on daily fantasy games in several different sports. Earlier this month, FanDuel, another daily fantasy site, raised $275 million.
Fox Sports was the lead investor, and the deal includes a commitment by DraftKings to spend $250 million advertising on Fox over the next three years.
“Sports networks, they see this as all additive to their core business,” says Eric Fisher, a staff writer for the SportsBusiness Journal. “[The] fantasy player has been proven over and over again as a more engaged consumer of the games themselves either in person or on TV.”
Players like Adrian Sharoyan in Queens, New York, who’s been playing fantasy sports for 15 years.
“When I first started playing fantasy sports, I [only watched] my favorite team, which is the Yankees,” he says. “And once I started playing fantasy sports, I became instantly more interested in every game that was going on.”
Sharoyan’s been betting on DraftKings for the last two years. He likes that he can make a new roster every day.
Sports networks need consumers like him, says Jimmy Lynn, a special adviser for Georgetown University’s Sports Industry Management graduate program.
“The networks are always looking for content to bring eyeballs, and they make their money through the subscription fees and the advertising,” he says.
Lynn says the networks are also looking for new content, like TV shows focused exclusively on fantasy sports, especially because most of the major sports leagues are already locked into long-term contracts. And, since fantasy sports is one venue where it’s legal to place bets, more and more people are getting in the game.