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Exclusive: 6 NFL teams let their DraftKings, FanDuel deals expire

Monster Energy ad with Patriots star Rob Gronkowski on DraftKings web site last year
Monster Energy ad with Patriots star Rob Gronkowski on DraftKings web site last year

Just over one year ago, toward the end of the 2015-2016 NFL season, 29 of the 32 NFL teams had individual marketing partnerships with either DraftKings or FanDuel, the two leading daily fantasy sports platforms.

Now, Yahoo Finance has learned, the number has dropped to 23.

Five teams that were DraftKings partners had their deals expire (at different times) and did not renew: the Miami Dolphins, Atlanta Falcons, Oakland Raiders (soon to be the Las Vegas Raiders), Pittsburgh Steelers, and Tennessee Titans. The deals had varying terms and expired at different times.

The LA Rams (formerly the St. Louis Rams) had their FanDuel deal expire when the team moved to LA, and did not renew.

In contrast, the Kansas City Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots, which are all DraftKings partners, have opened up DraftKings “lounges” inside their stadiums.

The rise of daily fantasy sports is widely cited as a major factor stoking the momentum of legalized sports betting. (Is it possible that uneasiness over DFS and gambling played a part in Dolphins owner Stephen Ross voting ‘No’ on the Raiders moving to Las Vegas?) In October 2015, when New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sent DraftKings and FanDuel cease-and-desist letters telling them to stop doing business in the state, it ignited a nine-month legal war that ended with New York passing legislation to expressly protect daily fantasy sports. But the ordeal arguably damaged the two brands in the eyes of some.

DraftKings and FanDuel have announced that they intend to merge to one company this year, if regulators approve it.

Disclaimer: Yahoo offers its own daily fantasy sports product.

Daniel Roberts is a writer at Yahoo Finance, covering sports business and technology. Follow him on Twitter at @readDanwrite.

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