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Feb. 10, 2020, 4:16 p.m. EST

William Hill, CBS strike sports-betting media deal

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By Katherine Sayre

Sports-betting operator William Hill US and Viacom CBS Inc.'s CBS Sports have agreed to a deal that would enable the gambling company to seek new customers among the media giant's audience, the companies said Monday.

The companies didn't disclose financial terms of the multiyear deal, which is timed for the upcoming National Football League season.

William Hill agreed to pay CBS Sports a fee for access to its audience and sponsorships across CBS Sports content, according to people familiar with the matter. The deal, which includes incentives for hitting certain targets, is aimed at getting CBS Sports users to download the William Hill betting app and put money into their betting accounts, the people said.

CBS Sports plans to boost sports-betting content and data offerings to its 80 million users with the William Hill brand, including through its subscription betting-recommendation service, SportsLine, and database of fantasy sports players.

"We have lots of eyeballs," said Jeffrey Gerttula, CBS Sports Digital executive vice president and general manager. "We have people who play fantasy. People who play fantasy are great candidates, a great audience for a sports book."

William Hill US operates sports betting in Nevada, New Jersey, West Virginia, Iowa, Mississippi, New Mexico, Delaware, Indiana and Rhode Island and has a deal to operate a sports book inside Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. The company is the American subsidiary of U.K.-based William Hill PLC.

In the future William Hill content such as odds could be included in CBS broadcast programming, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The agreement between CBS Sports and William Hill is the latest in a slew of deals struck by sports books and media companies in the wake of a 2018 Supreme Court decision that cleared the way for legalization of sports-betting across the U.S. Several major media companies -- including AT&T Inc.'s Turner Sports, Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN and Fox Corp. -- are trying to capitalize on the interest swirling around betting, striking deals with oddsmakers like Caesars Entertainment Corp. and Stars Group.

Barstool Sports Inc., the ribald fan-centric website and podcast network, said last month it was selling a 36% stake Penn National Gaming Inc. for $163 million in cash and stock.

The logic of the deals is simple: Sports books, which suddenly have an opportunity to reach customers across the U.S., are relying on media companies to deliver potential bettors. Media companies, meanwhile, are selling access to their audiences and seeking sponsorships for new content aimed at gambling enthusiasts.

Write to Katherine Sayre at katherine.sayre@wsj.com and Benjamin Mullin at Benjamin.Mullin@wsj.com

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