DraftKings is betting on the future of in-game wagers, AT&T answers the calls of sports subscribers seeking refunds, UFSEA is now a thing, and bicycles have returned – for the third time.
DraftKings Goes Long
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Despite withdrawing guidance for 2020 due to the halt in play, DraftKings CEO Jason Robins said the company plans to hit its 2021 revenue goal of $700 million. The company expects the rebound to start with a busy Fall, headlined by postponed marquee events including The Masters, French Open and Kentucky Derby, in addition to NFL and MLB action.
Robins also sees massive potential with in-game betting. While it makes up 75% of revenue in the U.K. market, in-play betting makes up less than 20% of handles at Nevada sportsbooks and some operators don’t offer the option yet.
Investors are optimistic as well. DraftKings’ stock is up 70% since April, putting the company’s value at $10 billion and second only to Las Vegas Sands in the U.S. gambling sector. Analysts estimate that DraftKings could turn a profit as early as 2023.
DraftKings has explored a deal for Bleacher Report, which would allow it to provide sports and betting content while adding users in a way similar to Penn National’s partial acquisition of Barstool Sports.
AT&T Answers Calls
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AT&T is set to issue credits for its customers subscribed to premium sports channels on DirectTV, including MLB Extra Innings and MLS Direct Kick. The refunds will be for customers who have already made payments for this season and future charges will be postponed.
The company is also extending its cancellation policy until two weeks following the restart of action. Other providers haven’t been as receptive to consumer requests for demands. Comcast has said it would wait until leagues make their plans known before following a rebate plan for premium channels. The Premier League announced last week that its clubs will have to refund millions to broadcast partners, which pay the teams upfront for rights, unlike in the U.S.
Approximately 80 million U.S. cable customers pay $20 a month for sports, not including premium offerings like the MLB and MLS channels, and they are unlikely to see refunds.
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UFC held three events in Florida earlier this month and pushed for this weekend’s return to Las Vegas as UFC President Dana White claimed it as the safest place to conduct fights. On Friday, Nevada will head into Phase 2 of reopening, which includes sporting events without an audience.
With approval to return to its Nevada headquarters and foreign athletes now allowed to come into the U.S., White’s ‘Fight Island’ idea is losing practicality. However, the company did manage to trademark UFSEA – a nickname for the concept from late-night TV host John Oliver. More than 22 trademarks have been filed in relation to Fight Island.
Bike Industry Rolling
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Recreational bike sales experienced a 121% year-over-year jump in March. The bike renaissance is the third boom for the industry in 150 years, following a peak in the 1890s and another from 1965-1975.
Popularity then declined until a 2019 study found 32% of Americans over the age of 3 had ridden a bike in the previous year. Recent pandemic-driven concerns about mass transit and infectious diseases have sparked the latest renaissance, while many U.S. cities continue to build out bike lanes and infrastructure.
Key Biking Numbers:
$733 million in services and equipment sales in March.
57% increase in bike trips on trails across the U.S.
250,000 recreational bikes sold in March.
200,000 stationary and indoor bike stands sold in March.