New York-based premium sports analysis and media company, The Action Network, recently announced that it closed on 17.5 million in Series B funding led by private investment firm, Fertitta Capital. Under the terms of the deal, Chief Executive Officer for Fertitta, Nakisa Bidarian, will join The Action Network’s board of directors.
According to the official press release…
Bidarian said, “Since its inception, Fertitta Capital has focused on uncovering opportunities to leverage our unique combination of experience across sports, media and betting. The Action Network is the ideal investment to allow us to fully leverage that experience. We are confident that the company’s best-in-class leadership team, products and content will continue to expand its position as the leading sports betting media company.”
In addition to the company that provides in-depth betting content, tools and analytics for sports fans, also re-investing in the Series B round, The Chernin Group, an independent media holding company which in October 2017 formed The Action Network. Also part of the deal, Chernin Digital President Mike Kerns was named chairman of the firm’s board of directors.
Also commenting on the recent tie-up, Kerns added…
“We are thrilled to welcome Fertitta Capital, and this exceptional group of sports, media and technology investors into the fold, as we build the next phase of The Action Network.
“The company’s remarkable growth this last year is a testament to our strong leadership team, and this latest financing will help us expand our audience reach and depth of product offerings for years to come.”
Big league owners:
Also contributing to the funding round were David Blitzer, Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment) and co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils; the owners of the Chicago Cubs; 6721 Capital, global esports investor BITKRAFT Esports Ventures and Anthony Noto, former Chief Operating Officer for Twitter.
Chief Executive Officer for The Action Network, Patrick Keane, added…
“We are elated to have the confidence and support of top investors across sports and media.”
“The Action Network is the benchmark for modern sports betting data, content and analytics. With sports betting now legal in eight states and more than a dozen other states considering legislation to legalize, we see an incredible opportunity as we focus on securing the necessary approvals in regulated US sports betting jurisdictions as well as those around the world.”
Fertitta Capital was formed by brothers Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta after selling Ultimate Fighting in 2016 for $4 billion.
Rise of sports betting:
A surprise to no one, the appetite for legalized, state-regulated sports betting in the U.S. has escalated exponentially, with the May 14, 2018, U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning the federal ban spawning new laws in several states including Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Rhode Island.
Currently, 18 states have taken action and have more than 40 bills on file. With the gambling trade group, the American Gaming Association (AGA), estimating that the U.S. has a $150 billion illegal sports betting market, that will undoubtedly increase. And boutique research firm, Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, estimating that by 2023 the sports betting market could soar to $6.5 billion as more states legalize the activity.
On the heels of signing a multi-year partnership deal with the National Football League (NFL) and casino operator, Caesars Entertainment Corporation announced the signing of a similar arrangement with the Turner Sports division of American media giant Turner Broadcasting System Incorporated. The deal will see a studio put inside the sportsbook at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, where it will produce betting-focused shows for its pay-TV channels and digital properties, including TNT, Bleacher Report and TBS.
Big name hires:
Several prominent industry personalities have been hired by The Action Network, including Jason Sobel, formerly of ESPN and the Golf Channel; Rob Perez (aka “WorldWideWob”), former host of co-branded ESPN and Cycle Media production “Buckets;” and Darren Rovell, former ESPN sports business writer.
The Network’s mobile app can be downloaded for free on both Android and iOS and allows its users to receive alerts corresponding to picks track bets, track bets and check to see the amount of money placed on each side of every wager.