Betting overtakes golf
And Entercom launches gambling network
Good morning, all! Hope your week is going well.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, betting continues to overtake sports. Now golf has joined the fray. And I’m not talking about a five dollar nassau. The apparatus is being put in place so that whenever you watch a sporting event, you will be able to bet on it; from your smartphone no less.
Who knew, for example, that the PGA Tour had an official betting operator? It does- PointsBet. Adding to the intrigue is the deal PointsBet signed with NBC Sports to the tune of a half-billion dollars. Yes, that’s the same NBC that announced it is shutting down its sports-specific cable channel at the end of the year, after receiving $26 million in tax breaks from the state of Connecticut for relocating NBCSN to Stamford, CT. The network did announce it will keep its Golf Channel and Olympic Channel studios in Stamford after its sports channel shuts down.
The PointsBet-NBC partnership will go full blast on Super Bowl weekend, when the network carries the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Feb. 4 through 7. But don’t think wagering will be hyped on NBC’s over-the-air network. You will have to subscribe to the premium tier of Peacock, NBC’s streaming service, to take advantage of NBC Sports Edge BetCast. There you can watch analysts telling you the bets you can make on the action using odds supplied by PointsBet.
Confused? Well, here is all you need to know. More than likely you get your over-the-air NBC channel via cable television’s basic tier. So you will have to pay your cable TV monthly bill, plus a monthly fee for Peacock Premium, so you can place a wager on the action. And many people will.
Entercom looks to launch gambling network
Entercom, owners of some of the nation’s largest radio stations, including WFAN in New York and WSCR-AM in Chicago, is betting on a gambling network to pump up a flagging industry - radio. To that end, Entercom will turn KEZW-AM in Denver and 93.1 HD3 in Los Angeles into stations heavy on sports gambling programs. Some of those programs will also be carried on WFAN, WSCR and other stations owned by Entercom.
Why would Entercom endeavor into unchartered waters? Well what was the old line about Willie Sutton and why he robbed banks? “That’s where the money is.” Well, Entercom is going heavy on gambling programs because that’s where the listeners are. The company says its “You Better You Bet” program receives 670,000 downloads. That’s the other part of the strategy. All of these programs will also be available via Entercom’s radio.com app.
Welcome to radio and sports in 2021.
Amazon next to get Thursday Night Football
In prior newsletters we wrote how none of the networks are interested in the NFL’s Thursday Night Football package, including FOX and NBC, current rights holders to the package. The New York Post is reporting that one person plugged into the situation is predicting Amazon - which carries select NFL games - will land the new TNF package. (Is there anything Amazon does not have its claws in?) Nick Khan, who works for WWE and just announced a deal between the wrestling giant and NBC’s streaming service Peacock - here we go again - is the one predicting Amazon will make the deal. May we be the first to say “Amazon will build Thursday Night Football and you will pay for it!”
Boston still loves Tom Brady
Tom Brady may be gone from New England, but he still draws eyeballs. Ratings in the Boston and Providence, RI television markets went through the roof for Sunday’s NFC title game. In Boston, the game snagged a 36 overnight rating and 63 share, fifth largest in the country. Providence garnered a 37.9/62. In other words (and don’t ask me how they know this) the 63 share in Boston means of the television sets turned on, 63% were tuned to the Tampa Bay-Green Bay game.
Nationwide the game snagged a 26.5 rating and 54 share, meaning more than half of the TV sets turned on were plugged in to the game. And this does not count those who streamed the contest.
That’s why the NFL can ask big dollars for its television rights. Repeat after me. Why do the TV networks pony up big for the NFL? Because that’s where the viewers are.
That is it for today’s newsletter. As always, thank you for your support and keep having a great week.