Discovery invests in second-screen sports platform

US second-screen live sports television prediction platform WinView has raised $12m (€11m) in a Series B funding round whose participants include international media and entertainment company Discovery Communications.

Launched in 2014, WinView has previously raised $8m and said the latest funding will help it further develop and market its skill-based mobile app across a range of professional sports leagues, including Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and National Football League.

Available on iOS and Android, WinView Games allows users to play along in real time with live televised sports and compete to accurately predict the plays on the field in order to win cash prizes. WinView Games is an ad-supported app that is free to play. The games covered by WinView are produced in a live studio by a team of producers based on what is happening in real time.

Along with Discovery, investors in the Series B round include Graham Holdings Company, a diversified holding company whose principal operations include Graham Media Group, which owns seven television broadcast stations in major US markets.

Ted Leonsis, founder of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, and Zach Leonsis have also invested. They own and operate five professional sports teams including NHL ice hockey franchise Washington Capitals and NBA team Washington Wizards. LionTree Partners, the merchant banking arm of LionTree LLC, has also participated.

Tom Rogers, executive chairman of WinView, said: “The WinView Games app fills a sports culture void by converting fans and TV viewers from spectators into play-along-live participants. Following last fall's successful start, these investments will enable us to take a significant step forward toward reaching our mobile, social and gaming business goals while capitalising on fan excitement across virtually all professional sports including basketball, baseball and football. We also will strive to be part of the in-stadium experience, enabling fans to predict plays from their seats.”

David Zaslav, president and chief executive of Discovery Communications, added: “WinView's products complement Discovery's goal to reach and engage our superfans around the world and across all screens.”