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If anyone was briefly wondering “what’s going to happen next” in the US sports wagering world, that question was answering boldly on Tuesday morning.
Sports betting giant DraftKings Sportsbook announced they had acquired pioneering sports wagering broadcast company Vegas Sports Information Network, more popularly known as VSiN.
Financial terms of the historic deal including the purchase price were not officially announced, however some details were provided in a news release early on Tuesday. Although not confirmed, it was reported the purchase price was approximately $100 million.
DraftKings Sportsbook co-founder and Chairman Jason Robins expressed his thoughts in a news release:
VSiN creates authentic and credible content that resonates with sports bettors at every level, whether they’re experienced or new to sports betting. In addition to its brand equity among sports bettors and engaging talent roster, VSiN also has an established infrastructure that DraftKings can immediately help expand, in the hopes of adding value to consumers who are looking to become more knowledgeable about sports betting.
The company was founded in 2017 by Brent Musberger and nephew Brian following Brent’s departure from ESPN/ABC and a long, legendary sports broadcasting career including significant time spent at CBS. Brian was elated by the prospect of joining DraftKings and expressed his thoughts:
We created VSiN as a destination for sports bettors to find the most credible content to help inform their wagering decisions. Harnessing the power and network of the DraftKings brand will allow us to reach an even wider audience with our unique content.”
VSiN operates in Las Vegas and develops, produces, and distributes up to 18 hours of sports betting content live each day. Their content is streamed 24/7 through many videos and audio channel sources including Xfinity, Comcast, FuboTV, SlingTV, MSG Networks, NESN, and others. They also link to several radio stations throughout the US.
Featuring a talent base led by Brent Musberger, VSIN also features former NFL executives Michael Lombardi and Gil Alexander, who hosts the “Beating the Book” podcast. Pauly Howard and Mitch Moss co-host VSiN’s long-running morning show “Follow the Money”.
As part of DraftKings plan, Brian will remain in his role as CEO for the company to be editorial independent from DraftKings. They also plan to integrate their employee base located in Las Vegas, which includes all on-air talent into DraftKings’ 2,600 national employee workforce.
When opening a new Las Vegas office in January 2020 DraftKings increased their employee base locally by 132%. DraftKings co-founder and President of North America Matt Kalish now expects the Las Vegas workforce increasing to 300 people. He enthusiastically commented, “this is a big jump-start for our content capabilities”.
DraftKings is currently operating mobile and or retail/onsite sports wagering in 14 of 22 US states including Washington DC. that have legalized sports betting. That number could increase toward a potential as high as 25 to 30 states before the end of 2021.
Positive commentary is expected to grow from financial sources endorsing DraftKings’s acquisition of VSiN to strengthen their market position and increase their customer base.
Gaming analyst Carlo Santarelli from the New York office of Deutsche Bank offered this in a note to investors on Tuesday following the deal:
The acquisition of VSiN should enhance DraftKings’ ability to produce content and grow its audience reach, presumably aiding in customer acquisition and further broadening brand awareness.
Larry Gibbs is both a seasoned journalist and a respected online gaming industry consultant. His wry commentary & sharp analysis have appeared in numerous top gaming and sports wagering publications. He has also served as Vice President of US Gaming Services, a marketing research organization with 15 years of experience in US online wagering. He has spoken at noted gaming industry conferences including G2E, GiGSE, and NCLGS.
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