When Genius Sports unveiled BetVision earlier this week, it hailed the product as “the world’s first immersive sports wagering experience”, thanks to functionality that gives bettors live-streamed NFL games, integrated betslips, statistical insights and real-time augmentations on a single screen.
The product is launching with Caesars Sportsbook and Fanatics Sportsbook in the US, but Sean Conroy, Executive Vice President, North America at Genius Sports, expects it to make a much wider impact on the industry in the coming months. Here, he tells us why.
SBC: The integration of live-streamed action, game-relevant content and betting from a single screen has long been seen as the perfect model for sportsbook operators. Could you start by telling us how Genius Sports has managed to bring that model to life, and also give us an overview of the BetVision offer?
Sean Conroy: Genius Sports sits right at the intersection between the world of sports, betting and media. For several years, these worlds have increasingly been converging, accelerated by the rapid regulation of the US betting market and shifting entertainment habits.
Deloitte’s recent ‘Immersive Sports Fandom’ report found that 77% of sports fans say they have done one additional activity – like placing a bet or looking up a player’s stats – while watching live sports. Our strategy with BetVision was to create the world’s first genuinely immersive betting streaming experience, bringing together everything from low latency live NFL video feeds to integrated betslips and breaks in action offers to official team and player stats, live broadcast augmentations, personalisation options and more.
Through our Second Spectrum technology, which is used by some of the largest broadcasters in North America, to new NFL insights and visualisations, we are uniquely placed to combine live data, video, odds and more into one single immersive platform.
SBC: From a player’s perspective, how might BetVision enhance an NFL Sunday?
SC: We believe BetVision represents a new era of betting streaming and of sports entertainment in general. When bettors are streaming in a sports betting app, no longer will they have to flit between the full screen stream and the markets or watch on a minimised screen to place their wagers.
Instead, live odds and breaks in action offers will be delivered within the live streams alongside official team and player statistics including, in time, the NFL’s Next Gen Stats (NGS) feed. Players will also be able to engage with data-powered live broadcast augmentations used by CBS and TSN, including player names, speeds, open receiver identification, player trails and much more.
BetVision creates a truly immersive viewing experience for the player, and this is really just the start. This platform creates incredibly exciting opportunities across merchandise promotion, fantasy football integration, personalised bet recommendations and much more that can be integrated across broader live game distribution outside of sports betting.
SBC: BetVision gives your operator partners something new and exciting to market to both existing and new customers; but what other benefits do you anticipate it delivering for operators?
SC: To date, there has been a lack of innovation in betting streaming with many operators unconvinced as to its true value. BetVision is a game-changing product and the early results with our initial partners in the US have been very encouraging. One operator saw double the number of bets amongst their customers who watched NFL compared to those not streaming and 46% of players who streamed Thursday Night Football in week 1 returned for the same game in week 2.
By creating a highly-engaging, converged streaming experience on one of the biggest leagues in world sport, BetVision will increase bet frequency by allowing bets to be placed within the streaming UI. It will also help operators to keep their players onsite for longer, creating greater product stickiness.
BetVision enables players to personalise their experience including enabling official game statistics, which is designed to increase loyalty while also providing operators with new inventory to monetise through breaks in action offers.
In summary, BetVision will provide operators with a world-class streaming product that will set them apart from the competition.
SBC: This represents a major step for the NFL in how it delivers its ‘product’ to fans; why do you think it agreed to extend its partnership with Genius Sports to embrace it?
SC: From the outset of our partnership with the NFL almost three years ago, we have shared a vision to power immersive and personalised fan experiences. From a betting perspective, this meant going far beyond just distributing their official data to operators, but instead creating the highest-quality products to increase engagement on the NFL and deliver innovative experiences to fans.
The American Gaming Association predicts that roughly 73.5 million Americans will place a bet during the 2023 NFL season, creating a highly-competitive marketplace for US operators. In partnership with the NFL, we’re helping the likes of Caesars, Fanatics and BetRivers to stand out from the crowd, creating an interactive experience for their customers on mobile and tablet devices.
SBC: It’s obviously exciting for Genius Sports to work with the NFL for the launch of BetVision, but what long-term potential does the product have across the wider sporting landscape?
SC: BetVision is the first genuine example of sports broadcast, sports betting and sports data convergence in one platform. Sports broadcasts are becoming increasingly personalised with the viewer becoming the director of their own live game experience, customising everything from the stats they can view to the visualisations and camera angles. BetVision will drive this trend across the broader sports industry, creating tailored viewing experiences that will drive further convergence.