The Arena Football League kicked off a new season over the weekend. Just before games began, the league announced that it had a new media rights deal in place with ESPN that makes every game available digitally.
Regular season games will air on ESPN3 and the ESPN app. They will not be behind the ESPN+ paywall. One game will be on linear TV. ESPN2 has committed to airing the league’s championship game, Arena Bowl XXXII in July.
“We are pleased and proud to be working with ESPN and think they will be a great partner to help us grow the AFL,” League Commissioner Randall Boe said in a press release.
The Arena League has fallen on hard times in recent years. After arena football peaked in popularity in the early 2000s, the league has made some drastic changes to stay afloat. Those included canceling the entire 2009 season and returning with a fraction of the teams it once had. What used to be a nationwide league with as many as nineteen teams spread across the country, now has only six teams all concentrated in the Northeast and Mid Atlantic regions of the country.
Women Downloading Sports Betting Apps Faster Than Men
“Mobile sports betting apps saw a massive increase of over 4.6 million new female users in 2021. That represents a 115% increase, year-over-year.”
The sports betting space saw a surge of new participants come into the realm last year. The fastest growing population? Women.
According to data compiled by Global Wireless Solutions, a mobile insights consulting firm, new female participation in the online sports betting market is nearly doubling the pace of their male counterparts. In their findings, mobile sports betting apps saw a massive increase of over 4.6 million new female users in 2021. That represents a 115% increase, year-over-year. New male users were up too from 2020, coming in at a 63% increase in 2021.
These very large spikes start to make the $4.3 billion made in sports betting revenue in 2021 seem like just the beginning.
Some of the numbers can be explained by the sheer volume of new available legal bettors. In 2021, five states launched online sports betting (Arizona, Connecticut, Michigan, Virginia and Wyoming).
This year stands to see even more of an increase with several more states implementing online sports betting (New York came online in January) and adding to their already legal retail offerings or at least deep into negotiations attempting such a feat as soon as possible.
Global Wireless Solutions also found the most effective sportsbook to bring new female users into the fold was by far and away FanDuel. That company signed up 1.7 million new female users while DraftKings attracted an estimated 900,000 new female customers. Men, according to GWS, still outpace women by 250% as a consumer base.
Mike Francesa: Chris Russo Will Be On My Podcast
“When things rev up in the fall, I would definitely have Dog over as a guest and do a whole show with him. I would say you count on that.”
WFAN legend Mike Francesa is settling into his new podcast opportunity with BetRivers, and has left the door open for a reunion with his longtime colleague and friend Chris “Mad Dog” Russo.
Francesa was responding to questions on his show, with the newest episode out Monday, when he said he would be able to book Russo for an appearance down the road.
“Listen, I’ve gone on Dog’s shows a couple of times. I could definitely get Dog as a guest one time,” Francesa said.
The last time the two shared a stage and microphone was back in March at the BSM Summit. Francesa said he will make sure whenever Russo does come on, it will be at a time that makes the most sense.
“We will do that at an opportune time,” he said. “Maybe right before the football season or maybe late in the baseball season. When things rev up in the fall, I would definitely have Dog over as a guest and do a whole show with him. I would say you count on that.”
Whenever the reunion happens, best believe it will be a must-listen. It will mark the first time the two have been on a podcast together.
Andy King To Lead Buchwald Agency’s Podcast Division
“The hiring of King is expected to bolster Buchwald Sports, the division of the company that represents athletes, coaches, and broadcasters.”
Veteran sports programmer Andy King is entering the podcasting world. He has joined the Buchwald Agency. He will help clients develop and sell podcast ideas.
King comes from SiriusXM, where he had been since 2015. He was the director of sports programming and helped create podcasts for the company featuring high profile talent including Let’s Go with Tom Brady and Larry Fitzgerald and Digging Up the Past with Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo.
Prior to joining SiriusXM, Andy King spent 15 years in Miami. Before leaving, he had risen to program director at 560 WQAM.
The Buchwald Agency largely deals with clients from the entertainment world. The hiring of King is expected to bolster Buchwald Sports, the division of the company that represents athletes, coaches, and broadcasters.