‘The gamification of sports is the future’ argues Ishwara Glassman Chrein, Head of Sports Partnerships, Verizon Media/Yahoo Sports

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Ahead of her participation in this month’s Sports Betting USA Digital (November 12 & 13) Ishwara Glassman Chrein, Head of Sports Partnerships, Verizon Media / Yahoo Sports, provides her thoughts on the impact of 5G, the importance of personalization and why the winners will be those organisations that serve fans with content when, where and how they want it.

With viewing experiences changing in light of COVID-19 and additional platforms beyond traditional television, how can sports betting take advantage of this? Could we see the introduction of ‘watch and bet feeds’ and what might that look like?

Yahoo Sports recently signed a renewal with the NBA to enable our core fans and bettors to watch NBA games.  For example, if a user bets via Yahoo Sports/BetMGM, Yahoo Sports could give them a coupon to watch a league pass game – or a month’s worth of games or the whole season of games.  We know that sports bettors enjoy watching the games they are betting on, and, in partnership with the NBA and MGM, this product enables fans to do exactly that.  It will enable deeper engagement for fans who want to watch, play, and bet.

What does a 5G future look like for sports broadcasting, for rights holders and for betting brands?

During these unusual times, Yahoo Sports has launched products to improve the at home viewing experience.  Verizon/Yahoo Sports have the rights to stream every national and in market NFL game, the same games you would see on your cable tv, to fans on their phones and tablets.  We added a new feature this year, called Watch Together, so that you can watch the game while also videoconferencing with your friends.  It’s a great way to bring people together to watch the game, talk about the game, and even talk about fantasy and betting while watching.

What impact will OTT platforms have on the value of sports rights? Will OTT deliver a different hard to reach demographic?

Fans increasingly want personalization.  They want the content they want (short or long form) when and where they want it.  Leagues, media rights owners, and gaming companies are all here to serve fans.  Those that serve fans where and when and how fans want content will ultimately win.  Yahoo Sports serves fans a mix of content: full length NFL and NBA games, highlights from the NFL, the NBA, MLB, NHL, and others, as well as original content on what happened in sports yesterday as well as on fantasy and betting.

In terms of the broader betting and wagering narrative is there a value in promoting sports betting as being part of the ‘entertainment industry’ rather than part of the ‘gambling industry’.

Our goal is to make sports fun for people, and serve them with whichever products they enjoy.  I think the future of sports will be that you will see different telecast options of the same game, e.g., the traditional feed, a statistics feed, a fantasy feed, and a betting feed wherein you can see how that last play affected your bet and place a bet on the next play.  We know that in play betting will grow, and 5G will help that. The gamification of sports is the future.

To request an invitation for Sports Betting USA/Sports Betting Investor Summit, the deep dive into player acquisition/activation, and financing the expansion of Sports Betting in America, visit https://www.sportsbettingusaconference.com.


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