The share price of Australian online sports betting company PointsBet Holdings Ltd [ASX:PBH] has made solid gains today after inking a new deal with the National Hockey League in North America.
At the time of writing, The PointsBet share price is up 4.46%, or 71 cents, to trade at $16.64 per share.
Despite a decline in sporting events globally last year, thanks to COVID-induced lockdowns, PBH managed to generate solid returns via its American expansion.
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As more and more US states give the green light to sports betting, PBH has been there to capitalise on this new and very lucrative market.
Will betting save NHL’s viewership?
It’s no secret that the pandemic has been awful for sports viewership globally.
Here in Australia, the 2020 NRL season’s viewership declined 20.4% compared to numbers recorded in 2019.
The AFL season was similar, with viewer numbers declining 15% from the 2019 season.
So, will PBH’s betting and marketing partnership help bolster the NHL’s dwindling viewership?
Today, PBH announced it has signed a multi-year partnership with the NHL, which has named PBH as the ‘Official Sports Betting Partner of the NHL’.
The deal also gives PBH the ability to integrate content into live NHL game broadcasts across the networks of NHL media partners, including NBC Sports.
PBH, NBC Sports and the NHL have already begun installing such integrations for the 2020–21 NHL season.
As part of the partnership, the bookmaker has agreed to issue the NHL 43,106 fully paid ordinary shares, representing US$500,000 based on the 20-day trading volume weighted average share price.
But with average viewership of the competition down 12% from 2019, the lowest average since at least 2010–11, could PBH be getting the short end of the stick?
I mean, the Stanley Cup Finals ratings crashed by 61% compared to the previous season.
Bigger is better in this case
Yes, the numbers are declining in sports viewership, and there’s a few reasons for that.
But how that corresponds to sports betting isn’t exactly clear.
Are the people cutting their cable television subscriptions the same ones who are avid sports gamblers?
The draw here for PBH is that its brand is now slapped across the NHL broadcasts in a country where its active users are about to surpass those in Australia.
What’s more impressive is that PBH was able to grow its active US userbase by 222% during the peak of the pandemic.
So, regardless of the poor viewership numbers the NHL is experiencing, in my books, today’s deal could help grow PBH’s US userbase even faster.
For Money Morning
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