The FA Cup will be streamed across seven UK gambling sites and potentially many more internationally due to a new media deal – but what does this mean for the future of streaming within the gambling industry?
The Football Association (FA) sell rights to the FA Cup to a marketing organisation known as IMG. This year the sale of streaming rights toppled £3 million. IMG then sells different packages and rights to the games, which now includes betting sites within its customer list.
Seven betting sites have bought FA Cup streaming packages from IMG and will allow their users to watch the games when signed in online. IMG have also sold similar FA Cup packages to international betting sites, although exact names and numbers have not been disclosed.
This is a monumental step for betting sites now moving into new territories, and it begs the question, how will sport streaming influence streaming in the gambling industry?
Streaming to Become the Norm for Online Betting?
IMG also provide other streaming services in other sports like tennis, golf and basketball. Football is far from an anomaly when it comes to sports streaming on such sites. Yet, the massive fanbase of football and fans who watch the games could pave the way to make betting sites a place for streaming all types of betting markets.
It is not unreasonable to consider that betting sites could start streaming other markets, such as poker tournaments and slot game tournaments. This will enable players to enjoy gambling sites for reasons other than just gambling.
Not to forget the growth of the eSports and eGaming industries which rely on streaming to enable gamer fans outside of arenas to keep up with the action. Streams of these upcoming betting markets are crucial for the gambling industry to respond to the related – and growing – gaming industry.
Challenges to the Streaming Blueprint
There have been some challenges to the idea that streaming football matches on betting sites is a good idea. These challenges arise from an argument that allowing betting sites to be the gatekeepers of enjoying football will be dangerous to some groups, and even block access to those that have self-expelled themselves for player protection.
One of the most significant controversies is that many of the UK sites now streaming football games require those watching the games to have placed a recent bet or have funds within the account. This is not needed to try and make fans place a bet, but to enable the betting site to verify the account holder.
The future of streaming football games on betting sites may be overturned or may grow in line with safe regulations. Nevertheless, streaming of other sports or gambling tournaments may persevere and become the norm for the best online casinos.