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Entain and Verizon Media Announce Innovation Alliance

A new deal has been announced between Verizon Media (NYSE: VZ), the global media and technology company, and Entain plc (LON: ENT), the global sports betting and gaming operator (formerly known as GVC Holdings). The two are to form an innovation alliance that will seek to develop new opportunities across interactive sports and entertainment.

The announcement of the new alliance comes at the same time as the publication of new research conducted by YouGov for Entain, which found that the use of technology is having an increasing impact on consumer behaviors in gaming and entertainment. Social media now has a central role in consumer enjoyment and new immersive experiences, made possible with VR and 5G, are accelerating growth in gaming and esports.

The two companies will be working on a proof-of-concept immersive VR experience that combines live sports viewing with interactive sports data and gaming, something that has never been done before. The idea is to give people the ability to watch sports, check data, socialize, place bets, and more through Entain’s platforms.

Furthermore, they will also be working to develop concepts for new formats that make use of emerging technologies, such as 5G, VR and augmented reality. They hope to develop realistic experiences for sports fans, such as being in stadiums, taking part in games, betting, and so on.

Shay Segev CEO of Entain

To win in the future we need to understand where consumers will be in five, ten years’ time and work with other global businesses also investing in that. We envisage consumers meeting at a game with friends, who could in fact be elsewhere, using virtual reality headsets to watch, interact and share the experience together and, potentially, compete between themselves at half time or feel like they’re on the pitch with the players.

Shay SegevCEO of Entain

The CEO of Verizon Media, Guru Gowrappan, described the new alliance as taking the collaboration between the two companies “to a new level” and said that it will allow both to “maximize new opportunities across sports-betting, content and entertainment.”

Guru Gowrappan CEO of Verizon Media

Together, we are building the next-generation of content experiences for sports and gaming fans. Our world-first 5G-enabled production studios in LA and London, creative technology teams and Verizon Media’s Immersive platform, that enables extended reality (XR) content to be created and distributed across digital channels at scale, allow partners like Entain to bring next-level immersive and interactive experiences to their customers.

Guru GowrappanCEO of Verizon Media

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