‘Transformational’: NBCUniversal takes stake in Australian bookmaker PointsBet

American media giant NBCUniversal will take a 4.9 per cent stake in ASX-listed wagering group PointsBet as part of a five-year deal that makes the Australian bookmaker NBC Sports's official betting partner in the US.

The Melbourne-headquartered PointsBet said on Friday morning that the deal would be "transformational" for the company by exposing it to the largest sports audience of any US media group.

Pointsbet CEO Sam Swanell said the deal would be “transformational”. Credit:Chris Hopkins

PointsBet shares surged as much as 72 per cent on Friday morning after the deal was announced. At 10.15am AEST, they are 60 per cent higher at $12.

"PointsBet gains access to market-leading broadcast assets which span 184 million viewers and digital assets which span 60 million monthly active users," PointsBet chief executive Sam Swanell said.

"These assets will act as the cornerstone of our marketing strategy and combined with our in-house technology and products, as well as our talented and experienced team, will deliver outstanding client acquisition and retention efficiency as we scale rapidly over the next five years."

PointsBet, which has a $1 billion market value, has a relatively small operation in Australia but has been positioning to capitalise on the gradual legalisation of sports betting across the US.

If shareholders approve the deal, PointsBet will commit to marketing spending worth $US393 million ($540 million) over five years on NBCUniversal's broadcast and digital channels.

PointsBet will pay for around a third of that with script and further share options. NBCUniversal's initial 4.9 per cent stake is worth around $65 million, and it will receive options for another $105 million worth of shares that will become available after five years. If taken up that will give the group a stake of around 20 per cent.

PointsBet said on Friday it intended to launch a $300 million capital raising.

PointsBet's share price has grown rapidly since it listed on the ASX in June last year at $2.

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