When it comes to mobile sports betting, everyone is looking up at New Jersey. The Garden State is on track to generate $9 Billion in online wagers this year, compared to $6 Billion in 2020. In the month of June, New Jersey took in $683 million in online wagers. Illinois came in second with $451 million. While Nevada continues to be the best retail sports betting market, there’s no question who’s number 1 when it comes to online betting, and everyone should be copying New Jersey.
New York is trying to begin mobile sports betting by next year. There have been many delays in their process. Most recently, questions arose with regards to Gov Cuomo stepping down. Rob Linnehan, betting regulatory expert at XL Media says the state is still on track.
“I was just speaking with Senator Joseph Addabbo, he was sort of the driving force behind online sports betting in New York, and he said that he doesn’t expect (the change of power) to delay anything. He still thinks that you may see the first bets taken at the end of 2021. That’s sort of his optimistic viewpoint of things. In a more realistic viewpoint, maybe the first bets being taken in January of 2022, sometime during the NFL postseason.”
There has also been pushback on the bidding process for mobile licenses in New York, something Rob said was actually surprising.
“Not a lot of people saw or could have predicted that FanDuel, DraftKings, Bet MGM and Bally’s Bet would basically team up to submit a bid for one of the online licenses in the state. You know, most people thought they’d be competing against each other for a license. So that was a bit of a surprise to see that they would work together. Basically say we’ll do everything at a 50% tax rate and let’s get a chunk out of this New York market when they’re competing against each other in New Jersey, for instance.”
Rob Linnehan agreed that when it comes to online sports betting in New York, or any state trying to establish their platforms, they should absolutely take a look towards New Jersey to get it right.
“They have the model that states are basically, I don’t want to say copying, but that’s what they’re basing their online sports betting programs on. You know, they have a tethering requirement, which requires your online sportsbook operators to partner with land-based casinos. And you actually saw that in Florida’s recent gaming compact between the states and the Seminole tribe where they noted that their model is like New Jersey’s model, where the servers will be located in Seminole casinos. They argue that every bet that’s made in Florida, when their online program starts, every bet will be processed at a server on Seminole land. So that’s the way they are arguing that that’s legal and that’s completely based off of what New Jersey does and that’s really interesting.”
And what about operations? In New Jersey, you can log into an app, create an account, fund your account, and start wagering. In other places like Nevada, you need to sign up in person at the casino. Should New York and other states follow New Jersey in this regard too? Rob says yes.
“If you just look at the numbers, I think New Jersey’s model does the best. Illinois is having a slight issue where a lot of bettors out there have to sign up and register an account in person and unlike Vegas, they do have like DraftKings and FanDuel, but you have to go to whichever casino they have a sportsbook in to sign up for their mobile app. So it is limiting. I think New Jersey has shown that it is the best model right now, and that is absolutely what everyone is mirroring. Look what happened in Tennessee with their untethered licensed model and they’re having a lot of corruption problems. They’ve had to stop the program a few times.”
When New York initializes mobile sports betting, I do expect the handle in New Jersey to decrease. There are many New Yorkers crossing the bridges and tunnels to place sports bets right now. Once they don’t have to, it will eat away at the Jersey numbers for sure. But New Jersey stands alone right now as the king of online sports betting.
Keeping Premier League Games Shouldn’t Be A Hard Call For NBC
“Beyond its massive global fanbase, the Premier League offers NBC/Peacock a unique modern 21st-century sport for the short attention span of fans.”
NBC Sports is facing some tough, costly decisions that will define its sports brand for the rest of this decade. A chance to connect with viewers in a changing climate and grow Peacock’s audience as well. However, making the right choice is paramount to not losing to apps like Paramount+ (pun intended).
NBC is currently in the business of negotiating to continue airing the Premier League as their current deal ends after this 2021-2022 season. NASCAR is contracted to NBC (and FOX) through the 2024 season.
NBC’s tentpole sports are the NFL and the Olympics.
Negotiations for the EPL are expected to go down to the wire. Rather than re-up with NBC, the league is meeting with other networks to drive up the price. NBC has to then make a decision if the rights go north of $2 billion.
Should NBC spend that much on a sport that is not played in the United States? It’s not my money, but that sport continues to grow in the US.
If NBC re-ups with the Premier League, will that leave any coins in the cupboard to re-up with NASCAR? Comcast CEO Brian Roberts hinted that there might be some penny pinching as the prices continue to soar. This may have been one of the reasons that NBC did not fight to keep the National Hockey League, whose rights will be with Disney and WarnerMedia through ESPN and TNT, respectively.
“These are really hard calls,” Roberts said. “You don’t always want to prevail, and sometimes you’re right and sometimes you’re wrong, but I think the sustainability of sports is a critical part of what our company does well.”
Roberts was speaking virtually at the recent Goldman Sachs 30th Annual Communacopia Conference. He told the audience that between NBC and European network Sky, that Comcast has allocated approximately $20 billion towards these sports properties.
Comcast CFO Michael Cavanagh spoke virtually at the Bank of America Securities 2021 Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference and echoed that the company is in a good position to make some strong choices in the sports realm.
“The bar is really high for us to pursue outright acquisitions of any material size,” Cavanagh added. “We got a great hand to play with what we have.”
While the European investments involve a partnership with American rival Viacom, the US market seems to have apparent limits.
Last Saturday’s NASCAR Cup Series at Bristol Motor Speedway was seen by around 2.19 million people. It was the most-watched motorsports event of the weekend. That same week eight different Premier League matches saw over 1 million viewers. More than half of those matches were on subscription-based Peacock.
Beyond its massive global fanbase, the Premier League offers NBC/Peacock a unique modern 21st-century sport for the short attention span of fans. A game of typical soccer fan is used to a sport that is less than two hours long. The investment in a team is one or two games a week.
My connection to the Premier League began before the pandemic. When I cut the cord in late 2017, I purchase Apple TV. Setting it up, it asks you to name your favorite teams. After clicking on the Syracuse Orange and the New Jersey Devils, I recalled that my wife has family based in London, England. They are season ticket holders for Arsenal, and that family redefined the word “die-hard” fans.
I’ve long been a believer that sports allegiances are best when handed down by family. I love hearing stories of people loving the New York Giants because their parents liked them, and they pass it down to their children.
I’ve successfully given my allegiance to the Devils to my young daughters.
By telling Apple TV that I liked Arsenal, I get alerts from three different apps when the “Gunners” are playing. The $4.99 is totally worth it to see Arsenal.
Whenever I told this story, I was amazed to see how many other American sports fans had a Premier League team. Students of mine at Seton Hall University rooted for Tottenham Hotspurs, while an old colleague cheers on Chelsea.
This is not meant to say that NBC should sign the EPL on my account. The key for any US-based soccer fan is that between Bundesliga, Serie A, and other leagues, there will be no shortage of soccer available on both linear television and streaming services.
Besides, Dani Rojas did say that “Football is life.” NBC, originator of the Ted Lasso character, should make keeping its Premier League US connection a priority.
Media Noise – Episode 45
Today, Demetri is joined by Tyler McComas and Russ Heltman. Tyler pops on to talk about the big start to the college football season on TV. Russ talks about Barstool’s upfront presentation and how the business community may not see any problems in working with the brand. Plus, Demetri is optimistic about FOX Sports Radio’s new morning show.
6 Ad Categories Hotter Than Gambling For Sports Radio
“Using sports radio as a back page service for gambling will have a limited shelf life.”
For years sports radio stations pushed sports gambling advertisers to early Saturday and Sunday morning. The 1-800 ads, shouting, and false claims were seedy, and some stations wouldn’t even accept the business at 5 am on Sunday.
Now, with all but ten states ready to go all in on sports gambling, sports radio stations can’t get enough of that green. Demetri Ravanos wrote about the money cannon that sports gambling has become for stations. Well, what if you are in one of those ten states where it isn’t likely to ever be legal like California or Texas? Where is your pot of gold?
Or, let’s face it, the more gambling ads you run, the more risk you take on that the ads will not all work as you cannibalize the audience and chase other listeners away who ARE NOT online gambling service users and never will be. So, what about you? Where is your pot of gold?
Well, let’s go Digging for Gold.
The RAB produces the MRI-Simmons Gold Digger PROSPECTING REPORT for several radio formats. In it, they index sports radio listeners’ habits against an average of 18+ Adult. The Gold Digger report looks at areas where the index is higher than the norm – meaning the sports radio audience is more likely to use the product or service than an average 18+ Adult who doesn’t listen to sports radio. The report, generated in 2020, indicates that sports radio listeners are 106% more likely to have used an online gambling site in the last thirty days. That’s impressive because the report only lists 32 activities or purchases a sports radio listener indexes higher than an average adult. I looked at those 32 higher indexes, and I think we can start looking for some gold.
Using sports radio as a back page service for gambling will have a limited shelf life. The gambling companies who commit significant money to get results will continue advertising and chase the others away. So, the future of sports radio needs to include other cash cows.
If it is evident to online sports gambling services that sports radio stations are a must-buy, who else should feel that way? I looked at the Top 32 and eliminated the media companies. ESPN, MLB/NHL/NFL networks, and others aren’t spending cash on sports radio stations they don’t own in general. But Joseph A Bank clothing, Fidelity, and Hotwire should! Here’s your PICK-6 list I pulled together that’s hotter than sports gambling:
- Sportscard collectors, Dapper Labs, Open Sea- read about Sports NFT $.
- Online brokerage firms-Fidelity, Charles Schwab, Robinhood, Webull, TD Ameritrade
- Golf courses, resorts, equipment, etc.- we play golf at home and vacation
- Hotwire.com, Booking.com, TripAdvisor, Airbnb, Carnival Corporation, and Priceline.com- we’ve used Hotwire in the last year.
- FedEx, UPS, U.S. Postal Service, Venmo, PayPal, Zelle-we wired or overnighted $
- Jos. A. Bank, shein.com, macys.com, nordstroms.com- we went to Jos. A. Bank in last three months
The sports card/NFT market is 32% hotter than the sports betting market for sports radio listeners. Everything on the PICK-6 is at least 100% more likely to purchase than an average 18+ Adult who doesn’t listen to sports radio. All listed are at or above indexing strength compared to sports betting. The individual companies I added are industry leaders. Bet on it! Email me for details.
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