The NBA has announced several integrations of fantasy basketball into its products, making sure that it gets its cut of the action.
As fantasy sports become legally regulated across the country, the expansion of fantasy basketball is becoming more visible in the place fans should most expect it; the NBA. NBA official fantasy scoring is just one way that the association is protecting its interests in the brave new world.
On Thursday, the association announced several new initiatives intended to standardize the fantasy experience for fans. One of them is the creation of official fantasy scoring for its games. In the new scoring, the following events will be assigned the following point values:
- Assists: 1.5
- Blocks: 3
- Points: 1
- Rebounds: 1.2
- Steals: 3
- Turnovers: -1
It seems that the NBA has taken notes from various state governments in terms of fantasy sports regulation. By rolling out official fantasy scoring, the NBA instantly makes anything not carrying that distinction “unofficial.” It’s unclear how much that distinction is worth for the association at this point, but it’s unlikely that the NBA is giving that away for free.
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It’s also unclear right now how much that distinction is worth for fantasy games operators like FanDuel and Yahoo!, who have already bought in. DraftKings and ESPN weren’t part of the announcement, and are two major players in the fantasy industry. It’s uncertain whether DraftKings and ESPN will join the fray at a later date, or simply update their scoring to parallel the official scoring without getting the seal of approval from the NBA.
The NBA also announced an expansion of its partnership with FantasyPros. The association will provide access to FantasyPros’ draft and rankings tools through its own web site, in addition to branded content. The theme across all these new integrations is quite clear: it’s new revenue for the NBA and its franchises.
New content always means new opportunities to monetize that content. Fans should expect to see the enhanced fantasy content include ads. Additionally, if trends in fantasy players shift toward favoring sites which operate under the official scoring umbrella, the NBA will we able to charge a premium for game operators to use that tag.
There’s no better way for sport entertainment corporations like the NBA to make sure that fantasy sports companies aren’t taking advantage of them than making the game operators pay to play. That’s exactly what the NBA has done.