Betfair TV Releases First TV Widget for Gambling in Deal with Samsung

written by: Richard Kastelein

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Betfair TV and CE manufacturer Samsung have teamed up to offer one of the first monetized UK TV widget products that will allow sports betting on Samsung's connected TV platform as well as Samsung Connected Blu-ray Disc Players. The widget, which officially went live only last week, was right in time for the FIFA World Cup 2010 kick-off. With over 35% of all televisions sold in the UK by the end of 2010 expecting to be internet enabled - the connected TV market is expected to mature very quickly.

Utilising the Widget Development Kit from Samsung and Yahoo, the company has built a slick, light and clean interface which will allow viewers that have Samsung Connected TV's (Internet@TV) in the UK to bet while simultaneously watching the sports match.

"It's geo-blocked for the UK only at the moment," stated Simon Miller, Betfair TV CEO, in an interview with "But we plan to expand to other markets in the future."

Betting regulations in continental Europe are notoriously complex and legal issues will provide a hurdle for Betfair to overcome, but they are currently working on it. Betfair has recently applied for a license to operate in The Netherlands and holds further licenses in Tasmania, Austria, Italy and Malta.

And there are more deals on the table with other CE manufacturers and new middleware partners in the IPTV landscape, including FetchTV.

On the TV Everywhere note, Miller interestingly revealed some of his core philosophy... his four elements.

"There are four things that need to be addressed on all the screens... TV, Web, Mobile and Tablets, said Miller. "Communication, Entertainment, Commercialisation, and Information."

His team has worked hard to create a solid UI that's simple to use, and not too complex - dumbing it down a bit so as not to clutter the screen with too many options and odds, but rather simple bets. For example, it's possible to bet on the score at halftime, the outcome of the match itself (win, lose or draw), the next scorer, as well as a few more options. And it's seamlessly tied with your Betfair online account where winnings can be withdrawn and money deposited.

In a recent press release Miller stated:

"Launching apps on TV is now becoming commonplace. It makes perfect sense for a betting application to sit alongside live sports. In time for the World Cup, our application enables a customer to bet on a match through their TV set as the action unfolds. It simply takes a few button presses on the remote control. Samsung are investing heavily in this technology and we are looking forward to working with them to provide customers with a first-class entertainment experience."

“TVs are the centre of home entertainment and live sport on TV drives our business. The way people interact with their televisions is changing. Our investment in this exciting new platform ensures that Betfair is an integral part of the future of Internet-connected TV,” added Miller.

The company has a slew of new media projects on the table.

"We are also on the iPhone and are soon releasing an iPad application," noted the CEO in an interview with

According to UK-based Set Top Box provider IP Vision has also inked a deal with Betfair TV to bring a live betting application to its FetchTV platform in August 2010, in time for the start of the English Premier League football season.

FetchTV viewers in the UK will be able to bet on sporting events as they unfold on television following a deal between online gambling group Betfair TV and IP Vision, parent company of Fetch.

IP Vision claimed in a statement this week that the deal will see a live betting application and odds information provided by Betfair and this signifies the first time that interactive betting will be available via a Freeview set top box,

Eddie Abrams CEO IP Vision said:

"The connectivity of our SmartBox has been at the forefront of signing this deal with Betfair. As applications for connected TV's and set top boxes become more commonplace consumers will start to embrace them on a much wider scale. Our set top box provides a cost effective way to utilise connected applications such as this one. The application will be launched in August 2010 and we're confident that this will be the first of many more interactive services we can add to the FetchTV platform to ensure our customers enjoy everything that technology has to offer," he added.

"Our customers thrive on live televised sports—connecting a TV to the internet is becoming commonplace,” said Betfair's Miller. “With the Betfair TV widget, putting a bet on a match or any sporting event as the action unfolds takes a few simple button presses on the remote control. Our comprehensive, up to the second odds are ideally suited to this medium."

Better best remember to try and press the right button on your remote control when you are placing a bet. One punter's mate “pressed the wrong button” on the betting exchange’s website recently, costing him £62,000.

Betfair is the world’s biggest online sports betting company and pioneered the first successful betting exchange in 2000. Driven by cutting-edge technology, Betfair enables customers to choose their own odds and bet even after the event has started. The company now processes over six million transactions a day from its three million registered customers around the world. In addition to sports betting, Betfair offers a portfolio of innovative products including casino, exchange games and poker. Betfair has twice been named the UK’s ‘Company of the Year’ by the Confederation of British Industry and has won two prestigious Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, being recognised for Innovation in 2003 and most recently for International Trade in 2008. Betfair currently employs over 2,300 people, principally in London, Malta and Australia.

About the Author

Richard Kastelein
Founder of The Hackfest, publisher of TV App Market and global expert on Media & TV innovation, Kastelein is an award winning publisher and futurist. He has guest lectured at MIT Media Lab, University of Cologne, sat on media convergence panel at 2nd EU Digital Assembly in Brussels, and worked with broadcasters such as the BBC, NPO, RTL (DE and NL), Eurosport, NBCU, C4, ITV, Seven Network and others on media convergence strategy - Social TV, OTT, DLNA and 2nd Screen etc.

He is a Fellow of the UK Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and UK Royal Television Society (RTS) member.

Kastelein has spoken (& speaking) on the future of media & TV in Amsterdam, Belfast, Berlin, Brussels, Brighton, Copenhagen, Cannes, Cologne, Curacao, Frankfurt, Hollywood, Hilversum, Geneva, Groningen (TEDx), Kuala Lumpur, London, Las Vegas, Leipzig, Madrid, Melbourne, NYC, Rio, Sheffield, San Francisco, San Jose, Sydney, Tallinn, Vienna, Zurich...

He's been on advisory boards of TEDx Istanbul, SMWF UK, Apps World, and judged & AIB awards, Social TV Awards Hollywood, TV Connect & IPTV Awards.

A versatilist & autodidact, his leadership ability, divergent and synthetic thinking skills evolved from sailing the world 24000 miles+ offshore in his 20′s on sailboats under 12m.

He spent 10 years in the Caribbean media & boating industry as a professional sailor before returning to Europe, to Holland.

A Creative Technologist and Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Metis) his career began in the Canadian Native Press and is now a columnist for The Association for International Broadcasting and writes for Wired, The Guardian & Virgin. His writings have been translated into Polish, German and French. 

One of Kastelein's TV formats was optioned by Sony Pictures Television in 2012. 

Currently involved in a number of startups including publishing TV App Market online, The Hackfest and Tripsearch TV. As CSO for Worldticketshop he helped build a $100m company.

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