Sports Betting Content is Exploding Alongside Regulation Progress

Jay Dieffenbach

You’ve seen the growing influx of sports betting programming, and Wynn Resorts is betting it's even better business to focus on hearing that programming.

Wynn teamed with sports podcast company Blue Wire as part of its targeting of sports wagering content.

The partnership will seek to lure customers to sportsbooks, a prime moneymaking strategy for media companies.

Axios reported that Wynn is spending $3.5 million to build a dedicated studio at its Las Vegas property with an eye toward bringing sports betting enthusiasts to WynnBET, the casino’s betting offshoot.

The Blue Wire business targets sports story-telling and discussion-based podcasts.

The ubiquitous use of personal tech devices including wireless headphones — coupled with the global pandemic and its attendant lockdowns — drove the audio market dramatically.

That trend, obviously, has not been ignored by the leaders in technology and media, with accessibility and interest continuing to grow.

Consumers have an Increased Array of Choices in Sports Betting Content

The Axios story gives a quick rundown on the current state of affairs:

  • ESPN's sports betting analyst Doug Kezirian relocated to Las Vegas to host "Daily Wager" from ESPN’s new studio at The LINQ Hotel + Experience. Kezirian also hosts ESPN's "Behind the Bets" podcast from the venue.
  • VSIN, a sports betting network that produces audio and video content from its studios inside five U.S. sportsbooks, struck a deal last year to produce content at "the world's largest sportsbook" at Circa in Las Vegas, on the Fremont Street Experience.
  • Entercom launched a six-year audio partnership with FanDuel last year to co-produce audio betting content. The radio giant acquired the QL Gaming Group for $32 million last year, which includes the sports betting app BetQL.

The plan at Circa, which opened late last year, reportedly includes the Circa Vegas Stats and Information Network, which offers sports betting-themed broadcasting.

In addition to those business ventures, Action Network has a reciprocal relationship with sportsbooks, some of whom sponsor its video and podcast products.

And, with their branded sportsbooks, Fox Bet, Yahoo Sports and others can use in-house promotion frequently.

No stranger to the party is Dave Portnoy, whose Barstool Sports welcomed a $163 million investment from Penn National Gaming, a relationship that already has proved fruitful.

"You're seeing a real lane for sport gaming-related content but it's not just transactional content, such as how lines are moving or what sides to take. Rather, it's entertainment content that revolves around personalities," J.D. Crowley, the chief digital officer at audio giant Entercom, told Axios.

"It's a land grab for operators to acquire customers as more states go legal," Action Network CEO Patrick Keane said.

The Wynn-Blue Wire project likely will have its studio finished before the 2021 NFL season, a prime marketing opportunity.

In a statement, Blue Wire said the on-air product would include industry experts and commentators, ex-athletes, and other insiders to “lead the conversation in sports on social media” and generate content resonating with fans.

As to the Blue Wire/WynnBET studio, the plan is to have several on-air personalities who will guide people through the odds and betting trends in the industry as well as present various stories.

"Podcasting is becoming the new books," Blue Wire founder Kevin Jones said in December. "We are going to lean into that unlike anyone else in sports right now."

The Betting Content Trend Pairs Yahoo, NBA

Yahoo and the NBA already are churning out a form of self-promoting content based on sports betting.

Its carrier, NBABet Stream, helps the program key on the business of sports betting and provides relevant news, general betting trends and more.

The show is hosted by Yahoo’s Jared Quay and betting analyst Preston Johnson. The discussion topics center on BetMGM odds as well as trends in pregame and in-play markets.

Yahoo Sports general manager Geoff Reiss said the partnership serves to provide a dedicated sports experience to recreational fans as well as satisfying the demand for in-depth betting programming.

“To do a telecast of an NBA game for people who are interested in that game through a betting lens is a natural extension of how the category is going to mature,” Reiss explained in a story.

In the case of the NBA, Yahoo, and BetMGM, teaming up has not been too difficult. All three companies have already been working together — Yahoo and BetMGM rolled out a joint-product for the Yahoo Sportsbook back in October.

Yahoo Sports, the official marketing partner for the NBA as of August, aims to further target legal sports bettors in the U.S.

BetMGM, one of the leading sports betting brands, partnered with The Athletic to produce diverse content, including podcasts, earlier this year.

ESPN Radio teams with local Las Vegas station KOMP 92.3-FM for live radio shows held at the Westgate SuperBook, bringing sports fans up to speed.

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