DraftKings, the new kid on the live-streaming block, will stream EuroLeague basketball in the US
It’s not just Twitter, Facebook and Amazon who are racing to grab the media rights to as much live sport as possible: it seems that almost everyone is interested in streaming sport live over an internet connection.
The latest company to snap up the rights to live sport is DraftKings, the daily fantasy sports app, who will stream EuroLeague basketball in the USA and Canada this season. The deal will allow DraftKings users not only to watch the streams, but also to take part in new fantasy contests around the content itself.
European basketball is hardly the biggest of draws in the US, and it’s likely, then, that the deal to bring the rights to DraftKings wouldn’t have cost the Earth – but it’s more evidence that sports who don’t have lucrative media rights deals with established broadcasters are able to get exposure on non-traditional channels like this one. It can be exciting times for such sports: in the UK, the Women’s Super League football streams a regular weekend game on Facebook as well as on the BBC Sport website.
In this case, though, the deal with DraftKings is especially novel and interesting as it puts a fantasy game side by side with the live sport it depends on, but also allows fans to enhance their experience of watching the sport live itself in a relationship which could be mutually beneficial. Basketball is hardly new to the US, but European basketball, with its lower profile, can certainly benefit from the exposure. Not only does this deal potentially provide that, but for those who do watch, they will, in theory, be immersed in the fantasy game as much as the real one. The result could see fans becoming more and more invested in their new league, and even something as small as learning players’ names more quickly, since they have them in their fantasy teams too, can help.
If it’s a success, it might show that there is a new challenger in town for the other companies who are streaming content online already. Fantasy games like DraftKings could provide a one-stop shop for fans who want to watch live sport and play fantasy sports, too, and although that may never be as popular a pairing as sport and social media like Twitter and Facebook, or shopping and other entertainment streaming, like Amazon, it shows that there are others with the capabilities to make it work.
Given the growing success of fantasy sports, this could be one to watch.
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