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ESPN Podcasts Enjoy New Records In September

“The 9.3 million unique listeners represented a 10% increase from August and 24% year-over-year, although ABC was not part of the Sept. 2019 measurement.”

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ESPN has been clear about how much they value the podcast space, viewing it as an area with plenty of room for expansion and growth. In September, that growth continued to be recognized, as ESPN Podcasts had a record-breaking month attracting 9.3 million unique listeners. 

Consisting of ESPN, ABC, FiveThirtyEight and National Geographic, the podcast network surely benefited from football’s return, an unprecedentedly busy sports month, and the approaching presidential election. The 9.3 million unique listeners represented a 10% increase from August and 24% year-over-year, although ABC was not part of the Sept. 2019 measurement. 

According to the press release, the following ESPN podcasts enjoyed significant year-over-year growth, helping to make September a record month:

  • NBA pods (The Lowe Post, Hoop Collective and The Woj Pod) up 140% versus a year ago.
  • The Right Time with Bomani Jones up 134% versus a year ago.
  • DC & Helwani up 94% versus a year ago.
  • Fantasy Focus Football up 79% versus a year ago.
  • The Dan Lebatard Show and LeBatard and Friends Network up 61% versus a year ago.
  • Baseball Tonight up 58% versus a year ago.

Additionally, ESPN featured 13 of the top 30 sports podcasts for unique audiences, led by Fantasy Focus Football which ranked second and The Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz in third place. 

Not only did ESPN reach a record audience, but the network jumped three spots to No. 4 on the Podcast Industry Rankings Report. The top-10 podcast publishers on the list averaged a 3% loss in listenership for the month, but ESPN saw their audience increase. Wondery and PRX were the other top-10 podcast networks to increase their audience from August to September. 

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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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Wynn Resorts Plans To Cut Losses, Sell Sports Betting Unit For $500M

Wynn increased revenue from Q3 of 2020 at $370.5 million to $994.6 million in revenue in Q3 2021.

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Due to high marketing costs to bring in new customers, Wynn Resorts is looking to sell Wynn Interactive, the company’s betting unit, for $500 million. Wynn Interactive was valued at $3 billion last year, according to the New York Post, and has grown in revenue and popularity. But the costs are proving to be too much to handle. 

The WynnBET sportsbook has market access in multiple states including Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Tennessee, Virginia, Louisiana, and New York. It had also partnered up with NFL franchises and multiple professional athletes. Among these were the Indianapolis Colts, Detroit Lions, and New York Jets, along with Shaquille O’Neal, Tim Howard, and Chad Johnson.

Wynn increased revenue from Q3 of 2020 at $370.5 million to $994.6 million in revenue in Q3 2021. However, the company still remained at a net loss of $166.2 million during the quarter, down from a net loss of $758.1 million in Q3 2020.

Wynn is having to do a bit of backtracking and trying to cut their losses. They acquired a $1.5 billion line of credit from the Bank of China last September, with $100 million of it being planned to use to market the sports betting app for this year’s football season.

In another cancellation, Wynn was hoping to take the online sports betting division public via a SPAC merger with Austerlitz Acquisition Corporation but had to kiss that goodbye last November.

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FanDuel Makes Nearly $17 Million In New York After NFL Wild Card Weekend

Plenty of bettors in New York were chomping at the bit to legally wager on games.

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Mobile sports gambling has only been live in New York for a few weeks and already, the sportsbooks and the state are raking in the cash.

New York City news station WPIX reported Monday that FanDuel saw $16.9 million in gross revenue following Saturday and Sunday NFL Wild Card playoff games. The Monday night game featuring the Los Angeles Rams and the Arizona Cardinals was excluded from that total, but the sportsbook made an additional $2 million.

In New Jersey, PIX reported the state made $41.8 million in gross revenue in January 2021. That number was expected to be exceeded by FanDuel in New York as of Monday.

The station also reported $3.9 million in earnings for DraftKings, $14.1 million for Caesars Sportsbook, and $70,433 for RushStreet following NFL Wild Card Weekend.

Plenty of bettors in New York were chomping at the bit to legally wager on games and it’s clear the floodgates opened once everything went live earlier this month.

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