XLMedia makes early move on Massachusetts via expanded Advance Local partnership

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Affiliate group XLMedia has expanded its partnership with US publisher Advance Local to provide premium wagering content to potential Massachusetts sports bettors via the MassLive.com brand.

XLMedia already holds a partnership with Advance Local, one of the largest media groups in the US, which boasts a localised presence across several states.

Under its existing partnership, XLMedia is partnered with Advance Local property cleveland.com, where the affiliate has helped fuel the brand’s sports betting growth in the Ohio market since February 2022.

MassLive.com represents the second Advance Local property to be included in the agreement, and will focus on the creation of engaging sports betting content and the management of commercial deals with regulated sportsbooks, allowing Advance Local to add a further revenue stream to the brand.

MassLive.com currently attracts an average of 6.5 million unique visitors each month.

“We are pleased to be announcing another key strategic partnership ahead of Massachusetts’ sports betting launch next year, in what we believe will be another important growth territory for the group,” said XLMedia CEO David King.

“This deal also expands our strong partnership with the Advance Local team and further demonstrates one of our strategic ambitions to align with premium publishers in key sports betting markets.”

Advance Local VP of sports betting & iGaming Howard Kamen: “We’re excited for MassLive.com to become a go-to resource for both novice and experienced bettors as the state moves to legalise sports betting – creating a new content vertical and revenue stream for the property.”

Howard Kamen, VP of sports betting & iGaming at Advance Local, added: “XLMedia’s impressive betting content and results to date in Ohio gave us great confidence to work with their team in Massachusetts, another key market for us.

“We’re excited for MassLive.com to become a go-to resource for both novice and experienced bettors as the state moves to legalise sports betting – creating a new content vertical and revenue stream for the property.”

While Massachusetts has made significant progress towards launching its online sports betting market this year, it is still not expected to launch for several months, at least.

Last week, Commissioner Bradford Hill of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission said that neither the state’s first online nor retail sportsbooks would be able to open in the coming weeks.

Citing a report from a Boston sports radio station that said the first retail books could open in the next three weeks, Hill said: “Obviously, that’s not going to happen.

“I hope that the media can understand that putting information like that out to popular shows is very harmful to the process,” Hill added. “And if they want the information and correct information, they can tune into us almost weekly, from this point on, and get updates on what’s going on.”

Regulators in the state have indicated that the market launch will likely take place in late 2022 at the earliest, if not early 2023.

In addition to its partnership with XLMedia, Advance Local also holds a New Jersey-based partnership with affiliate competitor Catena Media, which now provides online casino and sports betting content to the media group’s NJ.com brand.

In July, XLMedia revealed that US markets made up the majority of its H1 2022 revenue, as the region saw more than fivefold year-on-year growth to $30.2m. That figure represented 67.9% of the group’s overall $44.5m in H1 revenue.

About the author

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Conor Mulheir

Conor entered the gaming industry in 2018 producing high-level live event content for audiences in London, Amsterdam and São Paulo. From 2020, he went on to report news and commission exclusive content for various gaming media brands before joining iGaming NEXT as editor in January 2022.

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