FuboTV Testing Out Free Sports Contests on Roku With Sports Betting in Mind
It was a little over a half-year ago that FuboTV announced its intention of launching a sports betting platform designed within its streaming product. Since then, it seems that investors have responded well to this idea of mixing one of the biggest sports streaming services with sports betting.
FuboTV then backed what they had said with the acquisition of Vigtory, a sportsbook that had recently begun operations. This gave a big boost to FuboTV’s ideas as they now did not need to build out an entire sports betting platform from scratch. Instead, the company is now simply tasked with implementing the sportsbook into its streaming service.
Now, FuboTV is beginning its market testing on how viewers will interact with sports betting on its platform. These first tests are happening right now Roku during the World Cup qualifiers for South America. These prompts are little free-to-play contests asking things like who will score first and who you think will win.
For now, these contests will continue to be free-to-play, as legally, FuboTV would not be able to offer sports wagering in the United States unless it became licensed in states where it is legal. However, if you participate in these contests, you can win prizes like a free year of FuboTV. A small incentive to try and get people to try out the service and be part of the bigger test.
What is FuboTV Looking to Accomplish?
Mike Berkley, the Chief product officer for FuboTV, said in quotes provided by Fast Company, “Our hypothesis is that it’s going to be an engagement driver, but also in the bigger picture, it’s kind of our first step towards our overall gaming strategy.” It is clear that these free-to-play contests are not the end goal.
However, these contests not only provide valuable data on how viewers will interact with live betting while viewing, but they also make betting and contests normalized. This introduces people to the idea of selecting props and predicting the game. Hopefully, this will lead to a smooth transition once FuboTV does introduce sports betting.
What Lies Ahead
There are many interesting obstacles that can arise when moving into sports betting. There are pretty strict regulatory laws when it comes to who can bet on sports and how they can do so. As of right now, FuboTV is setting its targets on three states, New Jersey, Indiana, and Iowa. All three of these states have had sports betting for an extended period of time and have a bit more lax regulation.
Two big things lie ahead for FuboTV and sports betting. One is getting the licenses it needs in each state to even offer a sportsbook. Then, it also needs to work with regulators to see how its sports betting and streaming services can be intertwined. It would seem that in many states, a sportsbook application would need to be separate from a streaming one due to age restrictions. However, FuboTV may be looking at workarounds to this problem.