Spotlight Sports Buys DFS Provider for US Expansion

Based in the UK, Spotlight Sports is expanding beyond its coverage of regulated sports betting and horse racing. The company recently announced an all-cash deal to acquire Alarm Sports.

The Alarm Sports Network operates a successful online platform for daily fantasy sports (DFS). Spotlight Sports is looking to expand is capabilities to provide white label solutions in the global gaming industry. This will let the company’s B2B partners offer a full suite of consumer-facing subscription services.

This acquisition will also allow Spotlight Sports to grow its business presence in the North America gaming market. The emphasis on the expansion of DFS especially pertains to the US where fantasy sports have been popular for years.

Alan Byrne is the CEO of Spotlight Sports. In a recent interview, he expressed the following thoughts:

“Because of what’s happening in America, that’s our No. 1 priority. We think that rich content will have an important part to play in the market. We appreciate that for now operators are scrambling to get their licenses and their platforms live, but in time, people are going to want to provide content to support their offerings.”

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. However, Alarm Sports’ executive team will be staying on with Spotlight. Former NBC Sports executive Rick Wolf is the company’s current president. Co-founders Dan and Al Williams will also be part of the new team at Spotlight.

Spotlight Sports currently has over 500 employees. More than 50 full-time and part-time workers make up Alarm Sports’ staff.

The origins of Spotlight Sports can be traced back to Racing Post. The company publishes horse racing and sports betting content for the global gaming industry. With more than $100 million in revenue, 30% can be attributed to newspaper sales. The other 70% is tied to digital properties.

The company’s digital revenue comes from advertising, subscriptions, B2B sales, and betting partnerships with various operators.

Alarm Sports produces white label DFS solutions for media companies such as Yahoo and The Action Network. This includes free-to-play applications for consumer contests.

The company also offers consumer-facing subscription platforms. Headlining this list is Fantasy Alarm and DFS Alarm. This will all be merged into Spotlight Sports.

Legal sports betting has been the main focus in the US market. Recent changes in the betting laws in Canada are expected to rapidly expand that market as well. However, DFS is still a vital part of the entire online gaming mix.

DFS markets in states have thrived as the sole competitor because there are no New York online sportsbooks, Texas sportsbooks, and California sportsbooks and in general, there’s an absence of legal mobile sports betting. Fantasy sports tend to compliment sports betting in markets where legal. It can also be used as a gateway in states going through the legalization process.

As Spotlight CEO, Byrne added his insight on the relationship between DFS and legal sports betting. His comments included:

“This acquisition covers the fantasy gap in our portfolio. It also puts us in a position to provide content that is of interest in states that are not yet legal from a betting perspective. It would take us a long time, in quite a hot market, to hire the range of talent on the editorial side and the product and tech side that Alarm has to offer.”

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