- Bet99 has announced that they will stream live NFL games to their Canadian players.
- The NFL signed a deal with Genius Sports to allow the betting data provider to offer live streaming in Canada.
- Bet99 is now live in Ontario offering sports betting and casino wagering.
If you had any doubt that the National Football League (NFL) is ‘all in’ on sports betting, just take a look north of the border. Bet99 has announced that they’ll be providing live streams of all NFL regular season and postseason games to their customers in Canada. They’re one of three Canadian facing sportsbooks that have signed an agreement with sports betting data provider Genius Sports to offer live video streams of NFL football action. Along with Bet99, Rivalry and Bet365 will also offer ‘low latency video streams of all regular and post-season matches on the NFL through Genius Sports’ fully integrated Watch & Bet solution.’
This is an interesting move for several reasons, most dealing with the NFL’s newfound love for sports betting revenue…er….sports betting and the ‘fan engagement’ it offers. We’ll go deeper into this topic in a subsequent article.
Don’t hold your breath waiting for a similar streaming option to become available in the United States. The NFL’s ‘cash cow’ of network TV broadcast rights makes this untenable for the foreseeable future. That’s not the case in Canada, where NFL football is popular but nothing like the way it is in the ‘lower 48’. For example, the 2022 opening week NFL games were the most watched live sporting events of that week. The Buffalo/Rams game attracted an average of 960,000 viewers on TSN and CTV2. The Week 1 primetime machups averaged 890,966 viewers across Canada. That pales in comparison to the US numbers where viewership in excess of 20 million are commonplace. In Week 9, even the Philadelphia/Houston Thursday night game on Amazon Prime drew 7.86 million–one of their lowest numbers of the year.
The NFL is in a powerful position with any US media outlet that wants to disseminate their games. Live sports is one of the few types of programming that is still able to bring in massive numbers of viewers. The highest rated TV series episode of the same week was the inexplicably popular Young Sheldon which did a 4.2 rating with a viewership of 7.13 million–or more than a half million fewer viewers than one of the lowest rated Amazon Prime games of the year. In 2021, only two non-sports shows averaged more than 10 million viewers per week. 10 million would be near the season low for a NFL game. Even if the league loses significant TV viewership in Canada due to their sportsbook streaming deal (which I doubt will happen) they can afford it there. They’re not going to ‘mess their money up’ here in the US.
Here’s the official announcement from the Bet99 press release:
Canadian-based premium online sports betting and casino platform BET99 is excited to announce that it has signed a licensing agreement with Genius Sports Limited (“Genius Sports”) to distribute live video streams of NFL matches to their customers in Canada.
Under the agreement, BET99 will now provide low-latency feeds for all regular and post-season NFL games to its customers in Canada, through its relationship with Genius Sports, the exclusive distributor of official NFL data and live video streams to sportsbooks. BET99 will combine the video feeds with the NFL’s official data, providing their Canadian customers with the highest quality NFL betting experiences and engaging new ways to track bets and follow the live action.
Jared Beber, CEO of BET99 offered this quote about the NFL streaming deal:
“We’re always looking for new opportunities to engage and entertain our customers, and this new agreement will allow BET99 players to connect in even more ways with integrated watch and bet functionality.”
More on this in subsequent articles, as well as information on the NFL feeds from Canadian facing books Rivalry and Bet365.