DraftKings VSiN Acquisition Applauded on Wall Street


Posted on: March 31, 2021, 10:38h. 

Last updated on: March 31, 2021, 11:02h.

On Tuesday, DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG) said it’s acquiring Vegas Sports Information Network (VSiN). It’s a move aimed at bolstering the sportsbook operator’s content offerings and its quest for vertical integration.

VSIN DraftKings
Gamblers outside the VSiN studio at the South Point Las Vegas. Analysts like DraftKings’ buy of the media company. (Image: Twitter)

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but DraftKings will integrate VSiN’s Las Vegas-based staff into its broader workforce. The media outlet’s management team will maintain day-to-day operational control and editorial autonomy. Broadly speaking, analysts are positive on the acquisition, with David Katz of Jefferies noting it should be accretive to the buyer’s long-term earnings, while driving customer acquisition costs (CAC) lower.

The acquisition of VSiN should expand the company’s customer acquisition channel, and in the long-run, should help achieve greater CAC efficiency,” said Katz in a note. “We maintain that DKNG is very well- positioned in US sports betting currently, with an established daily fantasy sports (DFS) presence, strong brand awareness, and first-mover advantages in many states. While marketing costs remain elevated in the near-term, our valuation focus remains on the longer term.”

News of the VSiN transaction comes just a few weeks after DraftKings indicated at its investor day that mergers and acquisitions were on the table. It also arrives two weeks after the company sold $1.15 billion in convertible notes, saying some of the proceeds could be used for making deals.

Another Media, Sports Betting Marriage

DraftKings scooping up VSiN is the latest example of the ongoing intersection of media and sports wagering companies – a combination some analysts estimate will drive $30 billion (including iGaming) in revenue by 2030.

VSiN’s content includes 18 hours a day of sports wagering coverage, and the company has a 24/7 stream. It has dedicated channels on iHeartRadio and TuneIn, as well as smaller radio stations across the US. The company’s offerings are also available on several linear television platforms and streaming services, such as fuboTV and Sling TV.

“The media and sports worlds are colliding,” writes Macquarie analyst Chad Beynon in a note. “Outside the US, many use the traditional affiliate model (suggesting or directing players to sites). But in the US, companies believe in the whole vertical integration, which will help user growth and margins over the long-term.”

Beynon reiterates an “outperform” rating on DraftKings, with a $77 price target, implying upside of 26 percent from the March 30 close.

Interesting Comparison

The Macquarie analyst calls VSiN an analog to Score Media & Gaming (NASDAQ:SCR) – the Canadian media and sportsbook operator he recently initiated coverage of with an “outperform” grade.

“We like this acquisition, as it expands DKNG’s content capabilities and further broadens the companies extensive reach,” said Beynon.

An interesting element to the Score Media/VSiN comparison is that DraftKings was recently mentioned as a possible buyer of the newly pubic Toronto-based company. That was a market rumor and it’s not immediately clear if the VSiN purchase will end DraftKings’ hunt for media assets.