Both the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Major League Baseball (MLB) are in discussions to sell their respective stakes in daily fantasy sports (DFS), report news sources within the United States.
With financial interests in FanDuel and DraftKings respectively, league sources have confirmed that plans are in place for all parties to remain partners.
In a statement to ESPN, the MLB said: “While we have initiated discussions regarding potential changes to the structure of our relationship, we look forward to continuing our valued partnership with DraftKings. MLB and DraftKings will continue to collaborate on innovative approaches to enhance the fan experience.”
Mike Bass, NBA spokesman, added: “This space is evolving and we saw the need to take a fresh look at the structure of our relationship.
“FanDuel has been, and will remain, a great partner. We have simply modified some of the components of our partnership.”
The MLB has been an investor in DraftKings since 2013, and signed a multi-year deal in 2015 that made the firm the official daily fantasy game of the sport, whilst the NBA took an ownership stake in FanDuel in November of 2014.
A spokesman on behalf of DraftKings commented: “Major League Baseball was the first professional league to invest in DraftKings and their partnership over the last five years has been instrumental to our growth and success. Our ties to MLB are as strong as they have ever been.”
Whilst FanDuel simply stated that it and the NBA “will remain close commercial partners.”
The news comes as industry stakeholders await a United States Supreme Court ruling, that could potentially see sports betting become a legalised and regulated part of the market.
Centred around the state of New Jersey’s efforts to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act 1992 (PASPA), the MLB and NBA have been lobbying various state legislators in its support.
DraftKings and FanDuel have also expressed interest in the potential space, with the former hiring a head of sportsbook, to launch a sports betting vertical, in February.