A win is a win right? Last week when John Rahm was forced to withdraw from the Memorial Tournament due to a positive Covid test, immediately the sports betting world had questions. What will happen to all the bets placed on Rahm? After 3 rounds, Rahm held a six stroke lead and looked to be headed towards a win. Going off as the betting favorite prior to the event, many sportsbooks held a decent sized liability on Rahm winning. Others, not so much. Regardless, the betting public was watching.
By now you know what happened. FanDuel, DraftKings, PointsBet, BetMGM and William Hill, all paid out Rahm bets in some capacity. Some in cash and some in site credit. Either way, it’s a marketing ploy that is not new to online gambling sites. DraftKings, FanDuel & PointsBet have all given out “Bad Beat” payouts before, paying both sides of a bet when a controversial call is made or some other circumstance costs one side a win. In Vegas, The SuperBook and Circa did not pay out Rahm bets.
Circa Sportsbook Director Matthew Metcalf tweeted, “Through the years, I’ve shied away from any payouts that involve subjectivity. It never leads to a good place long term from a customer perspective … Everything we do at Circa Sports revolves around building a consistent experience for the customer”
Whether you agree or disagree with the sportsbook’s decisions to pay out Rahm bets, a more important question needs to be asked. Why did they do that?
“I think a lot of sports betters look at this in a very shortsighted way,” Patrick Everson from covers.com told me. “They look at it as, ‘Hey, there’s a prospect with this company. They treat their customers more fairly and pay out on bad beats and so forth,’ What they failed to do is ask the question, why is it that these companies can not only pay out or refund potentially on losing bets, but pay out losing bets as winners? I think the betters, the customers need to ask that question.”
So what drives a book to make this decision? The first factor would be the sportsbook’s business model. Do they rely heavily on promotions and parlays? We know the parlay is the bookmakers best friend. The more parlays bet, the more the book makes. So if you’re a sportsbook who’s business model is built upon promoting parlays and other giveaways to entice people, then paying out the Rahm bet is a no brainer. You’re going to make that money back tenfold in parlays.
Another reason is the holds these books have on the actual Rahm bets and futures in general.
Everson explained “Some books theoretical futures holds are significantly larger than others. And if that’s the case, well, you’re going to be in a position where financially it’s more in your interest to give that customer a boost, a bonus refund, a bet pay out on a losing bet, etc, because you’ve made enough money to do it.”
This makes more sense. For those who don’t know, a hold refers to the amount of money the book keeps per dollar wagered. The higher the hold, the more money the books make. The lower the hold, the better it is for the bettor. Say that ten times fast. A theoretical hold is how much the books will keep no matter how many bets they take on a future.
The novice sports bettor, or average fan, is not paying attention to this. This goes back to Patrick’s initial comment about being short sided. They place the bet, they see the payout. But it’s important to understand that different books have different odds for a reason. Understanding these odds can be crucial to longterm success. There are many books out there where you are consistently overpaying.
The last reason a book would payout a Rahm bet or something similar, would be their position. What is their position on that event or other events? Pat Morrow from Bovada spoke on the Bovada At Odds Podcast about their NBA futures, saying the Lakers were their largest liability, saying “We are thrilled to bid them happy trails”. Bovada voided all John Rahm bets, but paid out potential winnings as site bonuses. Probably using the money they won from their Lakers futures.
There’s a lot of questions that can arise from the sportsbook’s decisions on the Rahm situation. Does it create a slippery slope? Will this set a bad precedent? Will other books feel pressured to follow? The most important question however, is not being asked, and thats why? Why were these books able to just hand out money. Understanding that, may help you not only find a new place to bet, but become a more successful gambler in the long run.
Keeping Premier League Games Shouldn’t Be A Hard Call For NBC
“Beyond its massive global fanbase, the Premier League offers NBC/Peacock a unique modern 21st-century sport for the short attention span of fans.”
NBC Sports is facing some tough, costly decisions that will define its sports brand for the rest of this decade. A chance to connect with viewers in a changing climate and grow Peacock’s audience as well. However, making the right choice is paramount to not losing to apps like Paramount+ (pun intended).
NBC is currently in the business of negotiating to continue airing the Premier League as their current deal ends after this 2021-2022 season. NASCAR is contracted to NBC (and FOX) through the 2024 season.
NBC’s tentpole sports are the NFL and the Olympics.
Negotiations for the EPL are expected to go down to the wire. Rather than re-up with NBC, the league is meeting with other networks to drive up the price. NBC has to then make a decision if the rights go north of $2 billion.
Should NBC spend that much on a sport that is not played in the United States? It’s not my money, but that sport continues to grow in the US.
If NBC re-ups with the Premier League, will that leave any coins in the cupboard to re-up with NASCAR? Comcast CEO Brian Roberts hinted that there might be some penny pinching as the prices continue to soar. This may have been one of the reasons that NBC did not fight to keep the National Hockey League, whose rights will be with Disney and WarnerMedia through ESPN and TNT, respectively.
“These are really hard calls,” Roberts said. “You don’t always want to prevail, and sometimes you’re right and sometimes you’re wrong, but I think the sustainability of sports is a critical part of what our company does well.”
Roberts was speaking virtually at the recent Goldman Sachs 30th Annual Communacopia Conference. He told the audience that between NBC and European network Sky, that Comcast has allocated approximately $20 billion towards these sports properties.
Comcast CFO Michael Cavanagh spoke virtually at the Bank of America Securities 2021 Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference and echoed that the company is in a good position to make some strong choices in the sports realm.
“The bar is really high for us to pursue outright acquisitions of any material size,” Cavanagh added. “We got a great hand to play with what we have.”
While the European investments involve a partnership with American rival Viacom, the US market seems to have apparent limits.
Last Saturday’s NASCAR Cup Series at Bristol Motor Speedway was seen by around 2.19 million people. It was the most-watched motorsports event of the weekend. That same week eight different Premier League matches saw over 1 million viewers. More than half of those matches were on subscription-based Peacock.
Beyond its massive global fanbase, the Premier League offers NBC/Peacock a unique modern 21st-century sport for the short attention span of fans. A game of typical soccer fan is used to a sport that is less than two hours long. The investment in a team is one or two games a week.
My connection to the Premier League began before the pandemic. When I cut the cord in late 2017, I purchase Apple TV. Setting it up, it asks you to name your favorite teams. After clicking on the Syracuse Orange and the New Jersey Devils, I recalled that my wife has family based in London, England. They are season ticket holders for Arsenal, and that family redefined the word “die-hard” fans.
I’ve long been a believer that sports allegiances are best when handed down by family. I love hearing stories of people loving the New York Giants because their parents liked them, and they pass it down to their children.
I’ve successfully given my allegiance to the Devils to my young daughters.
By telling Apple TV that I liked Arsenal, I get alerts from three different apps when the “Gunners” are playing. The $4.99 is totally worth it to see Arsenal.
Whenever I told this story, I was amazed to see how many other American sports fans had a Premier League team. Students of mine at Seton Hall University rooted for Tottenham Hotspurs, while an old colleague cheers on Chelsea.
This is not meant to say that NBC should sign the EPL on my account. The key for any US-based soccer fan is that between Bundesliga, Serie A, and other leagues, there will be no shortage of soccer available on both linear television and streaming services.
Besides, Dani Rojas did say that “Football is life.” NBC, originator of the Ted Lasso character, should make keeping its Premier League US connection a priority.
Media Noise – Episode 45
Today, Demetri is joined by Tyler McComas and Russ Heltman. Tyler pops on to talk about the big start to the college football season on TV. Russ talks about Barstool’s upfront presentation and how the business community may not see any problems in working with the brand. Plus, Demetri is optimistic about FOX Sports Radio’s new morning show.
6 Ad Categories Hotter Than Gambling For Sports Radio
“Using sports radio as a back page service for gambling will have a limited shelf life.”
For years sports radio stations pushed sports gambling advertisers to early Saturday and Sunday morning. The 1-800 ads, shouting, and false claims were seedy, and some stations wouldn’t even accept the business at 5 am on Sunday.
Now, with all but ten states ready to go all in on sports gambling, sports radio stations can’t get enough of that green. Demetri Ravanos wrote about the money cannon that sports gambling has become for stations. Well, what if you are in one of those ten states where it isn’t likely to ever be legal like California or Texas? Where is your pot of gold?
Or, let’s face it, the more gambling ads you run, the more risk you take on that the ads will not all work as you cannibalize the audience and chase other listeners away who ARE NOT online gambling service users and never will be. So, what about you? Where is your pot of gold?
Well, let’s go Digging for Gold.
The RAB produces the MRI-Simmons Gold Digger PROSPECTING REPORT for several radio formats. In it, they index sports radio listeners’ habits against an average of 18+ Adult. The Gold Digger report looks at areas where the index is higher than the norm – meaning the sports radio audience is more likely to use the product or service than an average 18+ Adult who doesn’t listen to sports radio. The report, generated in 2020, indicates that sports radio listeners are 106% more likely to have used an online gambling site in the last thirty days. That’s impressive because the report only lists 32 activities or purchases a sports radio listener indexes higher than an average adult. I looked at those 32 higher indexes, and I think we can start looking for some gold.
Using sports radio as a back page service for gambling will have a limited shelf life. The gambling companies who commit significant money to get results will continue advertising and chase the others away. So, the future of sports radio needs to include other cash cows.
If it is evident to online sports gambling services that sports radio stations are a must-buy, who else should feel that way? I looked at the Top 32 and eliminated the media companies. ESPN, MLB/NHL/NFL networks, and others aren’t spending cash on sports radio stations they don’t own in general. But Joseph A Bank clothing, Fidelity, and Hotwire should! Here’s your PICK-6 list I pulled together that’s hotter than sports gambling:
- Sportscard collectors, Dapper Labs, Open Sea- read about Sports NFT $.
- Online brokerage firms-Fidelity, Charles Schwab, Robinhood, Webull, TD Ameritrade
- Golf courses, resorts, equipment, etc.- we play golf at home and vacation
- Hotwire.com, Booking.com, TripAdvisor, Airbnb, Carnival Corporation, and Priceline.com- we’ve used Hotwire in the last year.
- FedEx, UPS, U.S. Postal Service, Venmo, PayPal, Zelle-we wired or overnighted $
- Jos. A. Bank, shein.com, macys.com, nordstroms.com- we went to Jos. A. Bank in last three months
The sports card/NFT market is 32% hotter than the sports betting market for sports radio listeners. Everything on the PICK-6 is at least 100% more likely to purchase than an average 18+ Adult who doesn’t listen to sports radio. All listed are at or above indexing strength compared to sports betting. The individual companies I added are industry leaders. Bet on it! Email me for details.