Dispute Prompts FanDuel-Ban Threats From Fox

By Ben Hamill - April 18 2021
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Dispute Prompts FanDuel-Ban Threats From Fox

Rumour has it Fox Sports is threatening to remove all FanDuel-related ads and content from its airwaves over a bitter disagreement between its parent company and FanDuel-owners Flutter Entertainment. Fox Sports is owned by Fox Corporation.

Fox Corp. as recently as only last week instituted legal proceedings against Flutter Entertainment over its unhappiness with the nature of the pricing it will have to cough up if its to successfully acquire a stake in Flutter’s FanDuel. Uncannily reminiscent of schoolyard bullying, America’s largest sports television broadcasting network is apparently throwing about threats of a possible content ban over its unhappiness with said pricing disagreement.

Since sports betting operators rely heavily on media visibility and advertising, such a move by Fox Sports will undoubtedly lead to even more drama between the two bickering parties.

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How The Fight Started

The entire debacle stems from Fox Corporation’s option to acquire an 18.6% stake in FanDuel in July this year.

Fox is reportedly insisting on paying a similar price to what Flutter Entertainment had forked out for acquiring a 37.2% stake in FanDuel when it bought in on the brand last December. The $14.18 billion Flutter had forked out for said ownership stake in FanDuel saw the latter valued at $11.2 billion. Based on precisely that valuation calculation, Fox Corp. had anticipated having to part with around $2.09 billion for its proposed 18.6% stake in the sportsbook.

But Flutter disagrees. The gaming giant has reportedly set the asking price Fox is expected to pay for the shares at the “fair” market value at the time of the actual execution of the deal in July. Flutter has even now gone as far as accusing Fox Corp. of bargain hunting by insisting on acquiring the ownership stake in FanDuel at a considerable discount.

Fox To Take It Or Leave It

Flutter CEO Peter Jackson appears to be following a take-it-or-leave-it type of approach in as far as Fox Corporation is concerned. According to Jackson, Fox can either acquire the stake in FanDuel at the fair market value or quit pursuing the option to buy.

An insider has in the meantime revealed that although Fox Corp. is eager to resolve the dispute in an amicable manner, should it ultimately fail to achieve this, it will continue to focus instead on promoting Fox Bet. The latter is the result of a partnership between Fox Corporation and Canadian gaming giant The Stars Group.

Flutter Entertainment currently owns a 95% stake in FanDuel. Boyd Gaming owns the remaining 5%.

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