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ESPN Expands Digital Programming In 2020

“The 500 live original shows is an increase from 2019 where ESPN aired closer to 400 digital programs, and a large spike from 2018 when that number was around 200.”

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ESPN will continue to increase their digital programming during 2020. According to Digiday, The Worldwide Leader will air more than 500 live original shows across its own digital platforms along with YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook.

The 500 live original shows is an increase from 2019 where ESPN aired closer to 400 digital programs, and a large spike from 2018 when that number was around 200.

“These shows are different than the shows we do on TV,” ESPN SVP of digital and social media content Ryan Spoon told Digiday. “If you think about what we did leading into college football, the social shows are often very relaxed. I put [an all-] capital ‘fun’ in front of the tone we want to see. They’re about driving interest and enjoyment around it.”

The continued increase in digital programming comes after ESPN plucked Omar Raja away from Bleacher Report late in 2019. As a teenager, Raja launched House of Highlights, an NBA channel on Instagram which is a brand still owned by Bleacher Report. Raja was brought in by ESPN to help reach consumers looking for digital content rather than traditional TV. 

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here

Sports Online

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.”

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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.

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Sports Online

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.”

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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