The Tuesday call with investors saw Murdoch discuss the recent and rather abrupt shutdown of the corporation’s betting arm. FOX BET was launched in the hopes of striking a unique and highly lucrative balance between FOX’s involvement in sports and the fast-evolving sports gambling market.
FOX Boss Talks the Future of the Sports Betting Brand
However, the sportsbook has failed to meet its targets and is confirmed for shut down right at the same time that Penn Entertainment confirmed that it will rebrand its sportsbook to ESPN BET, working with the popular media company on a brand new sportsbook product.
Murdoch was not really upset with the way FOX BET has gone, arguing that the company was extremely pleased with the sportsbook operation and the value that it created for shareholders. He said that the entire venture was funded by Flutter Entertainment, with FOX not actually investing any capital in the sportsbook but deriving “significant value from it.” He noted that the FOX BET Super 6 will actually be revived:
One of the remaining elements of value coming out of FOX Bet is the brand of FOX Bet Super 6, which is the most successful free-to-play wagering business in the United States and offers a tremendous funnel for wagering sites going forward.
FOX corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch
“This is a brand and an operation that we will continue to operate,” Murdoch said during the call, rekindling hopes that FOX BET may yet be making a return. As to why FOX Bet was shuttered, there is an easy explanation for that as well.
Essentially, it’s Flutter that has decided to pull out of the sportsbook business, with FOX maintaining control over FOX Bet regardless. What this means is that Murdoch and co. may not be done with FOX Bet. They may have a point as well.
Leveraging a Strong Brand with High Value to Investors
Flutter was conflicted between running FanDuel, a sportsbook that already dominates betting markets in the United States and North America, and FOX Bet, an ambitious, promising but ultimately demanding investment. Flutter has clearly decided to go with the most sensible path to financial success and leaned more heavily on FanDuel.
Despite this, Murdoch wrapped up by saying that there was a tremendous amount of value created through the FOX BET brand and that FOX will continue to take a closer look at the segment, sa it sees the point in carrying on the sportsbook’s legacy. FOX BET Super 6 has been one of the most successful free-to-play games in the United States, motivating FOX to pursue it further.