DraftKings extends partnership with MLB to cover streaming content

The US betting giant DraftKings has extended its existing partnership with Major League Baseball (MLB) to include promotional sports betting rights and streaming content.

This comes after esports provider Engine Media Holdings filed a lawsuit against DraftKings last week.

DraftKings and MLB partnership

The expanded deal will see the implementation of Bet and Watch, a live streaming service that will allow fans with DraftKings and MLB.com accounts to watch MLB games for free within the DraftKings sportsbook app.

DraftKings and the league also plan to offer sports betting-themed experiences that will be available on the MLB.TV service.

On top of this, DraftKings will act as the official sports betting partner during the MLB postseason and will have its branding featured at MLB Jewel Events.

The new branding features will debut at the 2021 -Mobile Home Run Derby, where fans will have the chance to win tickets to the 2021 World Series event via a DraftKings-branded “Hit it Here” zone on the field.

Matt Kalish, President of DraftKings North America and co-founder said: “In 2012, MLB helped ignite the daily fantasy industry by becoming our first-ever league partner, and that same foresight has persisted over the years as our organizations look to disrupt and innovate further through this expansion.

“As we adapt and scale integrations within the constantly evolving sports landscape, MLB and DraftKings will again shape the future of fan engagement in baseball and beyond.”

Kenny Gersh, MLB Executive Vice President, Business Development said: “For nearly a decade, our growing relationship with DraftKings has been rooted in fan engagement and the second-screen immersion of sports gaming and entertainment products.

“This next iteration of unique and experiential offerings is something we look forward to rolling out together as baseball fans continue to embrace technological advances.”

The lawsuit against DraftKings

Last week, the Toronto-based Engine Media Holdings filed a patent infringement lawsuit against DraftKings in New Jersey.

The lawsuit was filed by Engine Media’s skill gaming-focused subsidiary Winview Inc.

Winview’s lawsuit alleges services offered by DraftKings overlap with two of its patents relating to the “Methodology for Equalizing Systemic Latencies in Television Reception in Connection with Games of Skill Played in Connection with Live Television Programming” and “Method of and System For Managing Client Resources and Assets for Activities On Computing Devices”.

The first patent relates to the technology used to improve latency so that live betting customers can see the same odds at the same time. Meanwhile, the second patent relates to the distribution of entertainment that is directly related to live events.

Tom Rogers, executive chairman of Engine Media, said: “Winview is an important operating unit of Engine Media, providing cash games of skill as part of the viewing experience of both traditional sports and esports.

“In addition, Winview has a growing portfolio of 80 issued United States patents, many of which relate to mobile sports betting and online gaming technologies. We will continue assessing how we can protect our intellectual property.”