According to Bloomberg, Verizon, which continues to expand its sports content and coverage, will consider entering the sports gambling industry.
“There are some changes coming that we pay attention to. We stay close to that to see how it would affect our asset and how we may choose to respond,” Verizon Chief Financial Officer Matt Ellis said. “I’ve not looked at anything in detail. If someone has an idea around it, I’ll look at it like any other. But we are not getting ahead of ourselves there.”
Verizon is no longer just a communications company, but also a media company investing in sports with streaming rights to the NFL and NBA. Last year Verizon purchased Yahoo and its popular fantasy sports business which has tens of millions of fans, logging 30 billion minutes a year participating in fantasy sports. Many of those users pay to play fantasy sports, with the goal of winning cash prizes.
In the past, sports leagues have spent millions in legal fees to prevent expanded legalization of sports gambling. Since taking over as commissioner of the NBA, Adam Silver hasn’t shied away from stating he expects sports gambling to be legalized in the next few years.
“We have studied these issues at length,” said NBA attorney Dan Spillane while testifying in front of a New York State Senate committee. “Our conclusion is that the time has come for a different approach that gives sports fans a safe and legal way to wager on sporting events while protecting the integrity of the underlying competitions.”
The NBA is pushing for sports gambling to be legalized, making betting available on smart phones and kiosks, while collecting 1% of every wager placed on its sport.
Last week Verizon and the NBA announced a partnership, creating a $25 million innovation fund to provide a unique viewing experience through the consumer’s mobile device. With the potential of legalized sports gambling, along with Verizon’s NFL and NBA streaming rights, the communication giant could offer a sports book which will pair live game broadcasts and live betting.
Mike Tirico, Tom Brady, Manningcast Win Sports Emmys
The annual Sports Emmys were handed out on Tuesday night, and some usual names and new names ended up taking home hardware.
Among the usual names were NBC’s Mike Tirico, who won for Outstanding Personality/Studio Host, and soon-to-be Sunday Night Football broadcast colleague Cris Collinsworth, who was named Outstanding Personality/Sports Event Analyst.
But among the new names as Sports Emmy winners include Tom Brady and both Eli and Peyton Manning.
Brady’s Man in the Arena saga won Outstanding Documentary Series, while the Mannings were rewarded for their work on the Monday Night Football Manningcast, which won Outstanding Live Series.
Here’s a rundown of some of the key Sports Emmy winners:
Here is a full list of winners and nominees for the 2022 ceremony.
Joe Buck Says He Won’t Miss World Series
“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game.”
Among the bigger chain reactions set off by Joe Buck leaving FOX for ESPN was the sudden vacancy in FOX’s main MLB broadcast booth.
The 2022 World Series will mark the first time since 1995 that Buck will not be on the microphone.
Speaking to Chris Long on his podcast Green Light, Buck hopes to be in a more exotic location watching World Series games this fall.
“I would like to be in Cabo San Lucas with a margarita in my hand and a half-smoked cigar watching Game 7 of the World Series,” Buck said. “Cheering on Joe Davis and John Smoltz, and Ken Rosenthal, and Tom Verducci, and Pete Macheska and Matt Gangl and right on down the line.”
Buck added he’ll take pleasure in turning the broadcast off if it’s Game 7 and there’s an insurmountable lead. But the broadcasting legend said even on a bigger scale, not calling any baseball games at all this season, let alone the World Series, is a bit surreal after covering the sport for so long.
“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game,” he said. “And that’s really weird to me, but I walk away really proud of what I and we did.”
He added that he will not miss the opportunity, because he does not feel like he will “leave any unfinished business” in FOX’s MLB booth.
Buck further praised his FOX colleagues and said it was time for a change. He knows Joe Davis will thrive in the opportunity.
NFL Likely To Launch NFL+ Streaming Service This Summer
“A source tells Fischer that a $5 per month price has been discussed for NFL+.”
According to the Sports Business Journal, consumers could be downloading NFL+ by July. Now, just what NFL+ will be is still yet to be finalized.
Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal reported in the site’s newsletter that live games will certainly be at the center of the league-owned streaming service. It is likely to only be available on phones and tablets with no option to stream to a larger monitor.
The viewing options would be limited. No out of market games would be available on the app. It is meant to replace the deals that recently expired with Yahoo and mobile phone carriers that recently expired.
The app could also include other content. Radio calls, team-created digital content, and league-owned podcasts are all options.
A source tells Fischer that a $5 per month price has been discussed for NFL+. The pricing structure can and likely will change before the app hits the market.