William Hill advances US agenda with imminent CBS Sports deal

FTSE250 bookmaker William Hill Plc is reported to be in the ‘final stages’ of announcing a forthcoming landmark US partnership with national broadcaster CBS Sports.

This weekend, The Sunday Times reported that William Hill governance would imminently announce its tie-up with CBS Sports – the sports entertainment division of the newly formed ViacomCBS global media conglomerate.

The partnership will see William Hill secure a much-coveted media arrangement with a leading US sports broadcaster, replicating the competitor movements of the Stars Group Inc and GVC Holdings partnering with FOX and Yahoo Sports respectively.

Maintaining coverage across a reported 61 million US households, the CBS Sports network currently holds the exclusive rights to broadcast live NFL Sunday programming of AFC divisional games.

Further high coverage contracts see CBS Sports act as the lead national broadcaster of the NCAA Championships, covering US sports programming for college football, basketball, baseball soccer and athletics.

Following 2019’s $30 billion merger between Viacom and CBS, US media observers anticipate CBS Sports to aggressively expand its content portfolio, going head-to-head against Disney-owned market leader ESPN.

Specifics of the deal have not been revealed, as it is unknown whether William Hill will develop a unique sportsbook property for CBS Sports to replicate the Stars Group agreement with FOX Sports, which saw the launch of FOX BET across regulated market states last year.

Operating Nevada sportsbooks since 2012, William Hill currently maintains the biggest US wagering footprint servicing betting venues across nine regulated US states.

2020 sees William Hill enter the third year of its corporate recovery programme, implemented by former Chief Executive Philip Bowcock in 2018 to remodel the UK legacy bookmaker as a global betting business.

The FTSE firm’s recovery strategy has been maintained by new leader Ulrik Bengsston, who replaced Bowcock last September as Group CEO tasked with accelerating William Hill’s digital growth, as well as developing a fast scale US business and remodelling the firm’s UK retail network.

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