This week, DraftKings announced an exclusive partnership with the Arena Football League that will allow DraftKings to offer exclusive access to AFL games.
As part of the deal, DraftKings will stream AFL games through the DraftKings app. Daily fantasy AFL contests and streaming are expected to go live before the start of the 2019 AFL season.
Currently offering NFL and CFL contests, DraftKings would offer daily fantasy football contests for three different leagues upon launch of AFL contests.
The Arena Football League season begins in April and can provide football fans with an alternative way to stay fresh play daily fantasy football until the NFL season begins in September.
In an announcement released this week, DraftKings seemed optimistic about the news. “We are confident that our customers will enjoy the fast pace of AFL games and the new daily fantasy sport contests the sport allows us to offer.”
With this new partnership between @DraftKings and the @AFLarenaball, you will be able to live stream AFL games via DK and play new daily fantasy arena football games. More innovative new ways to watch a game that is fast and furious https://t.co/jzjy7Evpuh
— Ted Leonsis (@TedLeonsis) April 12, 2018
What is the AFL?
Despite the fact that daily fantasy AFL contests will be coming to DraftKings in 2019, many football fans are not very familiar with the league.
The Arena Football League was established in 1987 and is currently the longest-running professional league in North America behind the NFL and CFL. Currently consisting of four teams, the league focuses on faster-paced action and more offense.
Teams for the 2018 season include the Albany Empire, Baltimore Brigade, Philadelphia Soul and Washington Valor. The season consists of 12 weeks of action running from April through June.
The AFL looks to benefit from the deal by expanding the reach of the AFL during a time of the year when football fans have tradionally been engaged with other sports.
Whether the struggling league — which has contracted in recent years — can find strike the right chord between the offensive-heavy football action and the large user base of DraftKings remains to be seen.