NBC, the American TV network giant, has raised eyebrows in sports betting circles after it was revealed it had registered a string of sports wagering domain names recently. These include: NBCSportsbook, NBCSportbook, NBCSportsSportsbook, NBCSportsBet, NBCSportsBets and NBCSportsBetting.

The big question is; in what capacity does NBC intend to use said domain names? The obvious route for the broadcaster to take would be to introduce its own sports betting platform. However, whether or not this will involve setting up physical locations for bettors to patronize remains to be seen.

The move by NBC, whatever its rationale, underlines the growing importance of the media in US sports betting. The company is already highly active in the genre thanks to its all-encompassing NBC Sports Network station which covers MLB, NFL and NBA among other major sporting interests. In so far as sports betting is concerned, the company is also well versed in offering odds on forthcoming sporting clashes through its NBCSports.com portal.

While registering the above domain names could be interpreted as an opening gambit to enter the sports betting sector, the move could also be simply for defensive reasons. Andrew Allemann, writing for Domain Name Wire, reported: “With sports betting being liberalized (both legislatively and judicially) across the United States, sports betting domain names might see an uptick similar to what marijuana domains have experienced in recent years.

“NBC’s registrations suggest it might offer its own sports betting platform. The registrations could also be defensive; the reason it registered the non-.com versions of NBCSportsBet, NBCSportsBets and NBCSportsBetting is because third-parties already registered the .coms.”