Just in time for “March Madness”, and the annual betting frenzy associated with college basketball’s championship tournaments, CBS Sports has named William Hill as its official sports book and wagering data provider.
As part of the agreement announced on February 10, the venerable British bookmaker William Hill is set to provide point spreads and odds, advice from in-house experts, and other data relevant to CBS Sports Digital’s expanded coverage of the legal sports betting industry.
In exchange, William Hill – which looms as America’s leading bet shop with more than 140 sportsbooks nationwide – receives exclusive rights for brand promotion spanning CBS Sports’ expansive suite of televised and digital programming. That segment of the deal includes WH cross-branding with CBS Sports Fantasy, one of the world’s most heavily trafficked fantasy sports platforms.
After an initial rollout of CBS Sports / William Hill content beginning in March, the companies will expand their partnership later this year when fantasy football season kicks off.
CBS Sports Secures Key Ally as Sports Betting Gold Rush Continues
Since 2018, when the U.S. Supreme Court repealed a federal ban on the sports betting industry outside of Nevada, 13 states have launched legal wagering in one form or another. Six more states have laws on the books awaiting implementation, and several more are circulating bills through their respective legislatures to begin 2020.
Accordingly, major media entities with a vested interest in sports entertainment have increasingly sought to synergize their products with the betting world.
Those efforts began in earnest back in May, when FOX Sports signed a deal with PokerStars parent company The Stars Group to leverage the latter’s online / mobile sportsbook platform. By September, the newly named FOX Bet app went live in New Jersey and Pennsylvania – putting pressure on CBS Sports to keep pace.
In a press release, Jeffrey Gerttula – who serves as executive vice president and general manager for CBS Sports Digital – praised William Hill as the optimal partner to help accelerate the company’s sports betting ambitions:
“We’re thrilled to launch this momentous partnership, which will allow us to deepen our investment and further extend our leadership in delivering multi-platform sports wagering content, while providing William Hill with unprecedented reach for their market-leading betting platform as they continue to grow their industry-leading U.S. business.
The power of our distribution, combined with the strength of our brands and the expertise of William Hill, has us well positioned to tap into the explosive growth of the legal sports betting industry in the U.S.
Together, we will deliver even more value to this rapidly growing segment of sports fans.”
William Hill Continues to Pursue Manifest Destiny in U.S.
Originally founded as a London-based brick and mortar bookmaker in 1934, William Hill expanded to American shores via its 2012 launch in Las Vegas.
Today, the company operates regulated sportsbooks in 10 states, a number which is sure to grow thanks to the newly inked CBS Sports pact.
In a public statement, WH US chief executive officer Joe Asher celebrated securing coast-to-coast content delivery courtesy of CBS Sports:
“CBS Sports, similar to William Hill, has a longstanding history of connecting fans directly to the biggest events and most iconic moments in sports.
We are excited about this partnership, with assets including mass-reach digital content products, one of the largest fantasy sports databases and platforms in the world, and leading sports television programming, which will allow us to expand the William Hill brand across America quickly and efficiently.”
William Hill PLC chief executive officer provided the following comments on the partnership:
“Becoming the official sports betting provider to CBS is another major step forward for William Hill in our US expansion.
We are already a market leader with leading access, a bespoke technology platform and the most experienced US team.
Now we have exclusive media, branding and promotional rights across CBS’ leading digital sports properties, to take the William Hill brand further and faster in the US.”