DISH Network’s partnership with online sports betting firm DraftKings highlights the growing trend toward more interactive viewing experiences.
The US satellite pay-TV service provider’s new service, heralded as a first-of-its-kind integration of the DraftKings app, allows Dish customers with an internet-connected Hopper digital TV receiver to access the app to view betting odds and fantasy sports contests on their TV.
The integrated DraftKings experience is available to all Hopper users, though betting by Hopper users will be limited to those living within the 11 states in which sports betting is available to DraftKings account holders.
Customers cannot currently place wagers directly via the TV app on Hopper, but they can use it to initiate bets or contest entries with DraftKings, then set recordings and watch live sports corresponding to their bets or fantasy teams.
When placing a bet, Hopper users receive a text message on their mobile device, which they can then use to complete the transaction within the DraftKings app on that device. Hopper users can currently initiate bets for college and professional basketball along with professional hockey from the app.
DraftKings partnership suggests passive viewing is becoming passé
The integration of Dish and DraftKings’ services reflects an ongoing shift away from passive viewing toward heightened interactivity with video content, putting viewers at the center of the action. Another company hoping to tie sports programming with sports wagering is streaming TV service provider FuboTV, which aims to launch its own sportsbook in the fourth quarter.
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The evolving esports segment is also providing new options for immersive multiscreen entertainment. Rapper and producer Travis Scott’s April 2020 concert inside the video game Fortnite is a prime example of what’s possible.
5G Sports betting holds promise
Dish’s long-term plans include extending the DraftKings in-app betting partnership to its streaming service SLING TV (a direct competitor of FuboTV) and its Boost Mobile network. Enabling integrated on-the-go sports viewing combined with betting opportunities could become a significant differentiator for Boost’s 5G network once it is built out.
Not only is the partnership between Dish and DraftKings highly unusual, but to comply with state regulations Dish itself has had to obtain state gaming approvals to offer the integrated service in states where DraftKings enables online betting. It is still awaiting final approvals from a handful of states.