DraftKings Signs NHL, Turner Sports Deals as Hockey Season Starts

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DraftKings is deepening its relationship with the NHL as the league drops the puck on a new season—with new U.S. TV partners.

The Boston-based gaming operator announced Wednesday a new partnership with Turner Sports, including Bleacher Report, to be the exclusive sportsbook for the company’s new NHL coverage. DraftKings (NASDAQ: DKNG) also signed a commercial partnership with the league itself, becoming the latest official sports betting partner of the NHL, which is already a DraftKings shareholder.

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Financial specifics were not released for either deal. Many partnerships between media companies and gaming operators include payments based on how many new customers sign up for the sportsbook through the media company’s platforms.

Under the Turner agreement, DraftKings will contribute odds, statistics, alerts and other content across the WarnerMedia unit’s NHL coverage, including live games on TNT, Bleacher Report digital channels and the B/R App. Though this is a new agreement, it is essentially a continuation of an October 2020 deal, which gave DraftKings exclusive rights across Turner’s non-NBA programming.

Turner will also introduce a new quick-resolution prop bet called Goal in the First Ten, or GIFT, that both DraftKings and the media company can promote and discuss around games. Turner has done something similar in baseball with its No Run First Inning (NRFI) bet, which has become a popular part of Bleacher Report’s MLB betting content.

Operators like quick-resolution bets because they settle rapidly, allowing for increased time spent on their platforms. Leagues like them because they drive specific interest from fans, who might watch chunks of games they otherwise wouldn’t.

The partnership with the league will grant DraftKings the right to use league and team logos in its products, and the ability to run themed promotional sweepstakes around big NHL events, like the All-Star Game and Stanley Cup Playoffs. DraftKings will also have advertising opportunities across the league’s linear and digital media. DraftKings already has gambling deals with the NBA, NFL, MLB and UFC.

The NHL earlier this year finalized its new seven-year U.S. media deals with Disney’s ESPN and Turner. ESPN will pay an average of about $400 million annually, and Turner will pay just shy of $230 million—together a threefold increase over the league’s previous U.S. deal with NBC.

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