It was going to take the perfect job opportunity for Jon Goulet to leave Fox Sports Radio. The funny thing is he didn’t exactly know what the perfect job was, until Jason Barrett told him about a new opportunity over the phone.
“It was funny,” said Goulet. “He brought up two different jobs and I didn’t even hear the other one. I was completely focused on the VSiN opportunity. I was all in. It was exactly the kind of thing I was looking for.”
Truth be told, Goulet thought he was a longshot for the job. If it didn’t work out, he’d be totally content with continuing his long run as Colin Cowherd’s producer. But despite his doubts, VSiN called with the opportunity of a lifetime.
“I really loved VSiN”s approach and the passion they had for Vegas,” Goulet said. “I loved how much they were willing to have real gambling discussions about things at a deeper level than other places. On a personal level, being a PD was always my goal. I grew up in radio, my dad has been in it since about 1970 and I grew up in radio stations and watched him as a PD when I was kid. I knew that was the path I wanted to take. You combine something I was passionate about, which is sports betting, a city I wanted to live in, and then a job I always wanted, it was the absolute perfect situation for me.”
It’s still almost a surreal feeling for Goulet when he walks into the casino at Circa for work every day. He admits he’s biased, but still swears it’s the best sports book he’s ever seen. For a guy that’s seen a lot of them, that’s quite the ringing endorsement.
But his focus on content has completely shifted since leaving The Herd. Instead of being solely focused on just one show, he has an entire network of shows he’s focused on. His role at Fox Sports Radio was to essentially take a sporting event, news story or anything else that was deemed as good content, and look at it through the lens of Cowherd’s show. That’s not the same at VSiN. It’s been a big adjustment, but one that he’s prepared himself for. Now, Goulet’s focus is less on what the biggest stories are and more of what stories most impact sports betting.
“A perfect example is this,” Goulet explained. “I’m sure Colin’s lead today was Aaron Rodgers because he turned down a contract extension with the Packers. One of our leads was the fact Scott Foster is officiating Game 6 tonight in the NBA Finals. Now, that sounds dumb, but when he officiates Chris Paul’s teams in the playoffs he’s 0-12. That is a huge story in the sports gambling world.
“That Aaron Rodgers story, my face would’ve lit up if I was still with Colin. Now it’s just, ehh, whatever (laughs).”
The future is bright at VSiN. There’s several reasons why that’s the case, but hiring Goulet to steer the ship from his PD position is definitely one of them.
“I think we can grow in a lot of ways,”Goulet said. “I think we’re set up for massive growth on television, through local affiliates such as Marquee in Chicago or NESN in Boston and things like that. I think there’s a huge demand for sports betting content on every platform. I even think from a radio perspective, there’s a lot of syndicated radio programming, but let’s face it, right now is not great from a lot of the major networks and I think a lot of those local stations are going to realize they need sports gambling content that fits their audience. I think you’ll also see growth in our podcasts. We are really set up to grow in every direction available to us. That’s what attracted me to what they’re doing here. We do everything and we do it well.”
VSiN has an impressive lineup of hosts on the network. From a talent perspective, if my new PD was the ex-producer of The Herd, half of me would be really excited and the other half would be completely nervous. On on hand, he knows what great sports radio sounds like and could help every host improve their game. On the other hand, he’s used to listening to the best in the business. How will I sound to him when he first hears me?
“You can’t expect every host here to be Colin,” Goulet said. “But what I try to do is take some of the things he does that we can duplicate and apply them. Listen, nobody is going to rant for three hours the way he does. But what you can do, and I know from behind the scenes, one of the things that makes Colin great is the time he puts in. He goes on the air at 9:00 pacific but he’s in the building at 6:00. Those are things that anyone in this building can do to raise the bar a little bit. When you’re watching games at night, are you looking at it through the lens of your show and thinking about how you can apply it? That’s what Colin does.”
Goulet continued, “We have a lot of hosts here but not all of them necessarily come from a media background. A lot of them are sports gamblers, who we’re teaching how to do media. I’m not expecting them to be as experienced as someone like Colin who’s been in the business for 30 years.”
Sports betting content is unique in the fact that most people compare it to wins and losses. If a guy gives out great picks, it’s great content. If they’re all losers, then, not so much. But Goulet doesn’t look at it that way as a PD.
“The info. I’m now aware of because I’m watching VSiN all day is crazy,” Goulet said. “There’s so much. People are basically telling you what’s going to happen so I’d be crazy if I didn’t wager and try to make a couple bucks off of our content. But from my standpoint, you also have to take a little of a step back. I have to manage the content and sometimes you can get trapped because you’re listening for certain info. and you’re grading the content based on if the picks are right. Sometimes you have to take a step back and say, ‘ok, this is still sports and we want entertaining content’.”
It’s not often you get the chance to work in the same city you used to travel to on vacation. It’s even rarer to be in that same city, doing a job you used to call a hobby. That’s exactly where Goulet is at in his professional life. Cowherd has called him a few times to check in on how things are going, and even though he lost his long-time producer, he’s thrilled about the opportunity Goulet has in Vegas.
“It was odd at first walking into a casino and not looking for a blackjack table,” laughed Goulet. “I used to come to Vegas for fun. Now I get to come here to work. It’s awesome.”
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.