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Pac 12 Networks Eyeing Digital Carriage

“The network is now unavailable to AT&T customers, slashing their audience by a large margin.”

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The PAC-12 won’t admit it, but it has been floundering on the scoreboard for quite some time and the impact of the PAC 12’s self-inflicted wounds is hurting the western conference’s pocketbooks.

It’s no secret the PAC-12 has been falling behind in revenue numbers compared to the rest of the Power 5, but as its media rights are set to expire in 2024, the time is now for commissioner Larry Scott to decide the future of the PAC-12’s viewing availability.

The reliance on late Friday and Saturday night football games has met mixed results for audiences and complete backlash from coaches, including the frontrunner Washington Huskies head coach Chris Petersen.

On top of that, PAC-12 basketball has been abysmal this season with expectations of a return to prominence completely shattered. Currently, no PAC-12 team is ranked in the Top 25.

Once more, the PAC-12 is mishandling its prized possession: the PAC-12 Network. The network is now unavailable to AT&T customers, slashing their audience by a large margin. And while unintentional, this past football season the network locked a large portion of the country out of a marquee matchup when (14) Washington State played (24) Stanford in a crucial late-season game for the Cougars just as they were gaining national attention.

With the ACC Network set to debut later this year, the PAC-12 could find itself officially bringing up the rear in college athletics.

In an effort to point towards a digital future with new opportunities at his disposal, Scott told Bloomberg that he is in a position to explore since the conference owns all of its media rights.

But the problem is the product, and asking the Amazons and Twitters of the world to invest in a product takes more than a historical name and a false slogan, “The Conference of Champions.” His conference continuously beats itself out of national title contention and as a result has little demand. AT&T proved that by dropping the PAC-12 Network in December. It is a red flag for TV networks that Scott will have to maneuver around as he negotiates with his digital partners-to-be.

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Bally Bet Delays NY Sports Betting Launch Until Spring

“We think that actually, the current version of sports betting is not a great business. It’s a fine business, it’s not a great business. “

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Don’t expect Bally Bet to launch in the NY Sports Betting market too soon. The Bally Bet sportsbook isn’t expected to launch until April, according to what Bally’s Chairman Soo Kim told CNBC’s Contessa Brewer.

With that targeted launch date, Bally’s will miss out on a couple huge sporting events, the Super Bowl and entire NCAA Tournament. These are obviously major time periods for the sports betting industry. However, Kim claims to be playing the long game and is okay with the fact they’ll miss out on the events.

“Oh yeah, we’re OK with that. I think that look, we have a longer-term plan and I think part of this is why maybe our plan isn’t fully being grasped by the public markets,” Kim told CNBC. “The public markets tend to be very short-term minded, what’s going to happen in the next earnings, what’s going to happen at the next, you know.

“But we think that actually, the current version of sports betting is not a great business. It’s a fine business, it’s not a great business. We think that there will be a wave of consolidation that will rationalize promotions. But more importantly, I think people will stop competing with just free money but people will start competing with product.”

Kim and Bally’s were hopeful that operators in New York would be more sensible pertaining to promotions due to the fact there are only nine licenses and the 51% tax. But it’s actually turned out to be ridiculous.

“As a New York state citizen, I thought this is great. I mean, it’s insane, it’s so… look, I think it’s kind of funny,” said Kim.

“Like literally – without casting aspersions on all of our fellow colleagues and industry participants – but you could literally open an account with one person, open an account with another person, get your free promotional money and bet separately, different ways on the same game, and you will win on one of them. Like, I don’t know why everyone’s not doing that.”

Caesars Sportsbook has given the biggest promotional offer, offering $3,300 in promos upon launching. As a result, the book was able to take a 42.7% share of the $603 million bet in the first nine days.

As of now, there are six sportsbooks live in the New York market after the BetMGM and PointsBet launchings. Three that are not: Bally Bet, Resorts World Bet, and the recently up for sale WynnBET.

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Four Major Sportsbooks Go Live in Louisiana Friday

Bettors in the state will also be allowed to bet on Louisiana college teams.

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DraftKings

Friday will be a great day for sports gambling in Louisiana as DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars, and BetMGM are set to go online at 9 a.m. ET.

Nearly two years after State Senator Cameron Henry introduced a bill to legalize sports gambling and residents successfully voted in favor of the measure, Louisianans will be able to wager on this weekend’s NFL conference championship games among other sports offerings.

BetFred, which partnered with Paragon Resort Casino in Marksville, was the first retail book in Louisiana in October 2021, according to Action Network.

All but a select few parishes in the northern part of the state will participate. The parishes not allowing their residents to gamble were the ones that voted against legalizing the practice in November 2020.

Those residing in Caldwell, Catahoula, Franklin, Jackson, LaSalle, Sabine, Union, West Carroll or Winn, you’ll have to go to the closest neighboring parish or city to place a bet. However, those residents can create an account, deposit, and withdraw funds on either of the four available sportsbooks.

Bettors in the state will also be allowed to bet on Louisiana college teams. Residents of New York and Illinois are unable to do so for their schools.

The four sportsbooks will pay a combined 25% tax between online and in-person betting to the state. Expect plenty of money to be flowing back to the state government.

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Sports Media Rips Baseball Hall Of Fame For Barry Bonds Snub

“David Ortíz got the nod from 77% of voters. He was the only one to get more than the required 75% for induction.”

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Performance-enhancing drugs are a non-starter for some Hall of Fame voters. “Some” in this case likely means about 34% of those with a ballot. It is the only explanation for Barry Bonds not getting in.

The Hall of Fame revealed its 2022 class on Tuesday night. David Ortíz got the nod from 77% of voters. He was the only one to get more than the required 75% for induction. Bonds finished second in the voting with his name showing up on 66% of the ballots.

Bonds and Ortíz were amongst a group of candidates who were considered controversial. Based on numbers and on-field performance, they, along with Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez, and Curt Schilling likely belong in the Hall of Fame. Bonds, Clemens, Ortiz, and Rodriguez have all been tied to the use of performance enhancing drugs and human growth hormone. Schilling has become something of a pariah in baseball due to his political extremism.

While cases can be made for all five men, the sports media seemed to zero-in on Barry Bonds. His exclusion drew a series of damning tweets and criticism of the Hall of Fame and its voters.

For the record, Barry Bonds is both the single season and all-time leader in home runs. He also holds the all-time record for walks and single season records for walks, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. He is also a seven-time MVP and fourteen-time all star.

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