Asking if we will see a 24-hour TV channel devoted entirely to sports betting, handicapping and analysis seems rhetorical. With the speed of light as we progress through our sports betting universe in the United States, it seems more a matter of not IF but when?
From the moment a casual to hardcore sports bettor opens their eyes in the morning, lines dedicated to just about any game they desire await. Grabbing their cell phone offers opportunities ranging from their own personal betting websites to a variety of long-established dedicated betting sites including Scores and Odds, Don Best, Vegas Insider, and more. Nobody has the excuse of not knowing who is favored, the game is total, proposition bets and well beyond.
We also can’t seem to think we should be surprised by this or not see it coming. When the Supreme Court officially declared sports betting legal in the United States on May 14, 2018, all bets were off, not on how to take advantage of this opportunity.
VSiN first out of the gate
Give contractor VSiN (the Vegas Stats and Information Network) credit for launching the system dedicated to fully directed programming. Founded in 2017, it broadcasts from studios at South Point Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. VSiN broadcasts radio programming online through its website and via audio simulcast on SiriusXM channel 204.
VSiN brings information to the public from authoritative sources dedicated to sports betting. Their goal is to inform and entertain across multiple platforms with respected and well-known sports personalities, starting with Hall of Fame broadcaster Brent Musburger. Joined by his son, co-founder and chairman Brian Musberger, their list of talent in the Las Vegas gambling industry includes bettors Jimmy Vaccaro, Vinny Magliulo and Chris Andrews.
The network’s expansion was remarkably rapid in adding programming and talent. Additionally, recently in August, announcing a collaboration with growing sports betting powerhouse BetMGM.
VSiN began broadcasting Betting Across America live from BetMGM Sportsbooks and studios in select major sportsbook markets across the country on weekdays from 3-5 p.m. ET/noon-PM PT and weekends 1:00-3:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT. BetMGM bettors and experts join live VSiN hosts to provide betting insights as odds and lines change at BetMGM Sportsbooks across the country.
This month, VSiN opened another studio at the new Rivers Casino in Illinois with perhaps other locations planned depending on rapid market changes. With a pun, stay tuned.
ESPN the logical candidate
Seizing on the meteoric rise and interest in sports betting in the United States, ESPN holds the role of clear favorite to create a potential 24-hour cable channel dedicated to sports betting. They have proven to be an effective formula for adding niche sports news and other streamlined channels aimed at specific audiences. With momentum and demand growing rapidly, sports betting could be next.
The only obstacle is to deliver to a universal national audience. However, interest in sports betting across the United States has opened the doors to dozens of targeted sports betting shows. With 18 states now offering legal sports betting and four more almost ready for 2020, there is a viable majority. Seven other states are in the stage of legislation for 2021, including the key market of New York State. Ambitiously, approximately 60-65% of the nation will have some type of regulated sports betting coverage within the next year.
ESPN began its quest with a new show gaining popularity on ESPN2 called “The Daily Wager”. It is scheduled in a weekday primetime news spot at 6 p.m. ET. On Sunday, football fans can watch the most important update at 9 a.m. ET.
The Daily Wager is hosted by Doug Kerzirian, former sports director and reporter for Las Vegas outlet KTNV-TV. He has also been a presenter on ESPN since 2012. Kerzirian’s contract has just been renewed. Speaking about the new show, he commented:
On a personal level, I’m thrilled to be able to stay with ESPN and continue what we started in the betting space. I’ve been around for many years, including hosting Daily Wager, and I believe this move to Las Vegas is just the latest step in ESPN’s overall vision for sports betting. I’m incredibly lucky and grateful that the team believed in me to help launch this in Las Vegas.
The show also has a new authentic 6,000 square foot home. It is now broadcast from a studio created inside the LINQ Hotel in Las Vegas. The Daily Wager previously aired from ESPN’s studio in Connecticut.
Sports Grid – A Reality Streaming TV
The reality of a 24-hour sports betting television concept has indeed already arrived. That is, for subscribers willing to pay via streaming access.
SportsGrid Network is a premier digital linear streaming programming service providing real-time coverage of pre-game and in-game odds, data, statistics and game intelligence for the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL , college sports, golf, tennis and soccer. . According to their website, the network offers 18 hours of live programming, available to stream on Pluto TV, Xumo, STIRR, Samsung TV, and most recently, Sling TV. Their mission is to combine insightful expert commentary with real-time delivery of sports betting news, data, statistics and insights.
SportsGrid TV’s sister station is the SportsGrid Radio Network which offers comprehensive sports betting and fantastic sports programming 24/7. It streams nationwide on iHeart, TuneIn, the SportsGrid Radio app, and terrestrial radio stations across the United States. Launching interviews, chairman and co-founder Louis Maione said he had a vision to create “the CNBC for the world of sports, fantasy and gaming.”
The SportsGrid network offers both live and original programming, and features a team of on-air personalities, including Scott Ferrall, as well as guest analysts. The network broadcasts live from a state-of-the-art television production facility located in New York City adjacent to Madison Square Garden and the Meadowlands inside FanDuel Sportsbook.
Bet on the sequel
Look for a convergence likely to come soon from any of these combined sources. It has become quite noticeable how much TV advertising exposure giants DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel have received over the past few months. This is expected to continue into October and November with at least three of America’s major sports still in operation. Joining the competition soon will be BetMGM with exposure from other sportsbooks as well.
Noticeable airtime and graphics involving lines on games accompanied by announcers are also apparent. More time devoted to ESPN adds more credibility to the demand of a growing customer base. Do not bet against a new fully scheduled 24h. sports betting channel will find its way into your cable lineup in the near future.