International edition
November 16, 2018 | Edition Nº3618

As part of the firm's sports gambling capitalization strategy

Sports Betting Analytics Startup Names New CEO

Sports Betting Analytics Startup Names New CEO
Mr. Keane is Action Network’s second chief executive in seven months. Mike Kerns, president of digital at Chernin Group, said the owners decided to appoint a seasoned executive who has run multiple companies to take the firm into its next phase.
United States | 11/07/2018

Patrick Keane will lead Action Network as it moves to take advantage of expected rise in sports gambling.

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ports betting analytics provider Action Network appointed a new chief executive as the company gears up to capitalize on the growing sports-gambling market.

Patrick Keane succeeded Noah Szubski as chief executive on Nov. 5, the company said Tuesday.

Action Network provides data and analysis to fantasy sports devotees and other sports bettors, a market that is expected to grow following a May Supreme Court ruling that cleared the way for states to legalize gambling on athletic events.

Action Network charges subscribers for access to live betting odds, public betting trends and other data sets for professional football, basketball, baseball and hockey games, as well as collegiate football and women’s professional basketball. A monthly subscription plan costs $12.99; a yearly one costs $9.99 a month.

“If you look at what’s been built so far, nobody has built a world-class product and content,” Mr. Keane said. The sports betting market exceeds $200 billion annually, he said. “There’s a really nice picks-and-shovels business that can be built within that.”

Mr. Keane is an operating partner at Stripes Group, a venture-capital firm, and holds a personal stake in Action Network. He earlier was the president of Sharethrough, a digital advertising exchange.

Action Network was created late last year through the merger of three companies. Its parent, the Chernin Group, was founded by Peter Chernin, a former top executive at Wall Street Journal parent News Corp .

Mr. Keane is Action Network’s second chief executive in seven months. Mike Kerns, president of digital at Chernin Group, said the owners decided to appoint a seasoned executive who has run multiple companies to take the firm into its next phase.

Mr. Kerns said Action Network raised $20 million in a single fundraising round last year. He added that 45% of Action Network’s subscribers are active daily but wouldn’t provide detailed revenue or subscriber figures.

Since the Supreme Court ruling, many media startups have moved to capitalize on the potential market for sports betting.

Bleacher Report, a sports website owned by WarnerMedia’s Turner, recently launched an NFL show with a section aimed at helping listeners figure out which teams would “cover the spread.” FanDuel and DraftKings, two venture-backed sports betting startups, notched billion-dollar valuations before calling off a planned merger. FanDuel later merged with Paddy Power Betfair PLC, a Dublin-based betting company.

Action Network faces well-capitalized potential rivals in DraftKings and FanDuel. But Mr. Keane said Action Network and those companies don’t compete directly: Action Network provides information to potential gamblers, whereas DraftKings and FanDuel are bookmakers, he said.

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