FanDuel Strikes Deal With Associated Press — But Are They Sponsoring The AP?

FanDuel recently struck an unprecedented deal with the Associated Press that will require the AP to only use odds and gambling data from them.

FanDuel is already one of the most recognized names in online sports betting in the United States. Its time as a daily fantasy provider had a lot to do with that. But FanDuel has also done a great job raising awareness through its marketing efforts, like the deal it recently struck with the Associated Press.

FanDuel is paying the AP an undisclosed sum in the deal, and the AP will only use gambling odds provided by FanDuel for the duration of the agreement.

Such a deal, as could be expected, raises several red flags. Does this mean that the 175-year-old news organization will be influenced by one of the biggest sports betting companies in the country? Will FanDuel execs have a say in what gets covered and to what extent?

Could FanDuel impact where teams rank in the AP College Football Poll? What about the various player awards the AP hands out, and FanDuel takes wagers on?

The answer to all of the aforementioned questions is, of course, no. The AP will retain editorial control over the content it produces like it always has. FanDuel will not be involved in the AP’s operations. But when AP content uses gambling odds, those odds will come exclusively from FanDuel.

That’s it. FanDuel is not a sponsor of the AP; they are just paying the AP to use their odds and no one else’s. FanDuel widgets will also be placed on the AP’s sports pages online, and “select FanDuel content” will be distributed over the AP wire as well.

According to Barry Bedlan, AP’s global director of text and new markets products, the AP is just trying to give its customers what they want: more and consistent sports betting coverage:

“As sports betting becomes more commonplace, our customers are increasingly asking for this kind of information. It makes sense to work with one of the largest, reputable sportsbooks in the United States to provide a consistent, credible reference point for AP and its customers.”

The deal will give FanDuel an even more significant media presence than it already has. Along with the AP, FanDuel has deals with The Ringer, Turner Sports, CBS, Audacy, Hulu, the NFL, NBC and several professional sports teams and leagues.

While FanDuel will undoubtedly benefit from the relationship, the sports betting industry stands to gain from it. News outlets like the AP have often used odds from offshore books in their content. But with deals like this one and the others that will likely follow, offshore books will have less of a presence in the mainstream media, which could lead to less of a market share amongst U.S. sports bettors.

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