December 29, 2020 – Verizon Media, a global media and technology company, and Entain plc, an international sports-betting and gaming operator (formerly known as GVC Holdings), have recently announced a global innovation alliance to develop new opportunities across interactive sports and entertainment. Entain brands include Ladbrokes, bwin, partypoker, and BetMGM in the US, which is co-owned with MGM Resorts.
Verizon Media and Entain will collaborate to develop a highly immersive proof of concept virtual reality (VR) experience that will combine live sports viewing with interactive layers of sports data and gaming. Consumers will be able to participate in sports events, check data, socialize with friends, and place bets on Entain platforms.
Additionally, Entain will work closely with Verizon Media to develop concepts for new formats with emerging technologies including 5G, VR, and augmented reality (AR) to bring immersive content and gaming to sports betting and gambling. Along with betting on live streamed sports events via the Entain platform, the goal is to create realistic, immersive experiences for sports fans, such as being in the stadium, participating in play, competing and betting on outcomes, according to the company.
“To win in the future we need to understand where consumers will be in five, ten years’ time and work with other global businesses also investing in that,” said Shay Segev, CEO of Entain. “We envisage consumers meeting at a game with friends, who could in fact be elsewhere, using virtual reality headsets to watch, interact and share the experience together and, potentially, compete between themselves at half time or feel like they’re on the pitch with the players.”
“This new alliance takes the collaboration between our two companies to a new level and will allow us both to maximize new opportunities across sports-betting, content and entertainment,” said Guru Gowrappan, CEO, Verizon Media. “Together, we are building the next-generation of content experiences for sports and gaming fans. Our world-first 5G-enabled production studios in LA and London, creative technology teams and Verizon Media’s Immersive platform, that enables extended reality (XR) content to be created and distributed across digital channels at scale, allow partners like Entain to bring next-level immersive and interactive experiences to their customers.”
Entain added that the collaboration builds on an existing successful relationship between Yahoo Sports, part of Verizon Media, and BetMGM, a joint venture with MGM Resorts through which Entain operates in the US. BetMGM is integrated throughout Yahoo Sports in the US, and in legal jurisdictions fans can place a bet with BetMGM without leaving the Yahoo Sports app.
Image credit: Entain / Twitter
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Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past five years.