- MSG Networks has announced a partnership with Boom Sports for a free to play sports betting platform.
- The platform will be integrated into broadcasts of Knicks, Rangers, Islanders, Devils, and Sabres games.
- MSG expects to release an app for Android and iOS in March.
Mobile sports betting in New York is still a mirage thanks to the bumbling efforts of Governor Andrew Cuomo but that hasn’t stopped media outlets in the state from jumping on the bandwagon. On Thursday, MSG Networks announced the launch of a free to play sports betting-esque game MSG Networks Pick ‘Em. The app based platform will be integrated into broadcasts of the teams the MSG Networks broadcast featuring the Knicks, Rangers, Islanders, Devils and Sabres.
MSG Networks is partnering with NYC based Boom Sports to develop the app. Boom is the company behind the NBC Sports Predictor app and one of many entrants into a suddenly crowded field of free to play ‘pick’em’ apps that provide a sports betting-esque experience to fans. Yahoo Sports ran down some of the other products in this space in an article announcing the MSG Networks deal:
NBC and MSGN will be two of many in a space that has grown up alongside the legal wagering marketplace. Fox has pushed free-to-play prediction app Fox Bet Super 6 through its sports and news assets. Teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers have launched their own pick ’em contests via their proprietary apps. Meanwhile, venture-backed GreenPark recently unveiled its own spin on the guessing games.
You can be sure that the quotes that accompanied the press release emphasized buzzwords like ‘engagement’ that have become de rigueur for any interface of mainstream sports with sports betting. Peter Tulloch, Senior Vice President, Digital Products and Distribution, MSG Networks, gave his thoughts on the partnership and this is clearly not his first rodeo:
“MSG Networks is thrilled to partner with Boom Sports on our new free-to-play app. We’ve been offering trivia and pick’em games on our MSG GO streaming app since 2018 and have seen firsthand how interactive games can help increase viewer engagement – including how long and how often they tune in. MSG Networks Pick ‘Em will further deepen our connection with viewers, providing sports fans with a fun and, potentially, rewarding way to enjoy MSG Networks’ live coverage of their favorite sports teams, while providing MSG Networks with new revenue opportunities.”
Greg Viverito, VP of Partnerships, Boom Sports, emphasized his company’s connection to New York City:
“We are excited to be working with MSG Networks to create an app that will enrich the viewing experience, and also offer unique value in the form of user insights and a strategic digital asset. We’re also a New York City-based company so we embraced the opportunity to create a product that adds to the fun of being a fan of New York sports teams.”
Here’s some more info on the app along with the MSG Networks growing emphasis on sports betting based content:
MSG Networks’ Pick ‘Em games will have a series of predictive questions rewarding fans with cash prizes for every basketball game, and for hockey games, the jackpot will be progressive.
MSG Networks Pick ‘Em is the latest example of MSG Networks’ commitment to innovation and creating engaging content for its viewers. MSG Networks is the first regional sports network (RSN) to announce a standalone app for free-to-play pick ‘em-style contests. In 2018, MSG Networks was the first RSN to integrate live stats and interactive games on its MSG GO streaming app, which encourages fans to play along with the actual game broadcast for a chance to win prizes.
The free-to-play app is expected to build off of engagement with the gaming fan that MSG Networks has cultivated over the past few seasons, starting with a daily-fantasy focused simulcast in 2018 and evolving to sports-betting focused programming blocks, short-form content acting as previews for the game, and the aforementioned fan contests on MSG GO.
Good move for the MSG Networks. The app will not only set the table for New York mobile sports betting but already offers plenty of promotional opportunities with New Jersey gaming companies. On a macro level, it’s another incremental step in the mainstreaming of sports betting and that’s something that will benefit all of us in the wagering realm.