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ESPN Passing On In Game Ads For Sportsbook Licensing Deal

”What they’ve been leaving on the table is chump change.”

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While ESPN is looking aggressively for a licensing deal with a sportsbook, they are certainly playing the slow game on in-game advertisements.

The NFL’s sportsbook partners have already spent $50.7 million on in-game advertising since the beginning of the NFL season on September 9th.

Among those cashing in have been ESPN’s competitors CBS, Fox, and NBC while ESPN has been slow to jump into the action.

According to the commercial-tracking service iSpot.tv, the three broadcast networks have all but maxed out on gambling spots, with each booking the league-mandated maximum of six sportsbook ads per game.

“They’re shopping around for a licensing deal that could bring in as much as $3 billion, so what they’ve been leaving on the table is chump change.” one TV sales vet said of ESPN.

“They don’t want to put themselves in a situation where they have one sportsbook buying a lot of time on Monday night, only to get the exclusive marketing deal done with another book and suddenly face a conflict of interest.” he added.

With a looming licensing deal on the horizon, it seems that ESPN is waiting for said deal to make in-game advertisements come from one sole partner.

In-game advertising is just at the tip of the iceberg, and ESPN is waiting on the big money. Sports gambling is still only the sixth-biggest ad category so it appears that ESPN is choosing to go with the more commonly known ad categories until they get the big deal that they are looking for from sportsbooks.

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Sports TV News

Stephen A. Smith Admits He Didn’t Want Covid 19 Vaccine

”A lot of us didn’t want to take it, I didn’t want to take it.”

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Stephen A. Smith had plenty to say about Kyrie Irving and the Covid-19 vaccine yesterday. On Stephen A. Smith’s show Stephen A’s World, he made his stance very clear on what teams should do with players who do not want to get the vaccine.

I said it last week about Andrew Wiggins and Golden State in regards to the vaccine, so I will say it again about Kyrie Irving, TRADE HIM!” said Stephen A Smith.

”If he isn’t going to take the vaccine and be able to play half of your home games, trade him.How can you commit to any player, even one as magnificent and brilliant as Kyrie Irving if he is going to miss half of your games.” added Smith.

Stephen A added that he actually did not want to take the vaccine either, but he did so in order to keep working.

”A lot of us didn’t want to take it, I didn’t want to take it. But you gotta do what you gotta do, sacrifices yall, sacrifices.” said Smith.

Disney made the decision in late July to mandate that all employees will be vaccinated, including 4,000 employees at ESPN.

It appears that their mandate mostly went over pretty well at the company, although Allison Williams, a sideline reporter at ESPN did decide to step down this month due to the mandate at the company.

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Sports TV News

Eli Manning Gives ESPN2 Audience Double Bird

“This isn’t the first time something happening on Eli’s set has disrupted the Manningcast.”

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Eli Manning didn’t have very many pleasant interactions with fans in Philadelphia. The former New York Giants quarterback was trying to convey his experience at Lincoln Financial Field to his brother Peyton and former Eagle Chris Long during the fourth quarter of this week’s Manningcast.

“You go to Philly, I mean, you’re getting the double bird right away from a nine-year-old kid. I would give the bird; I don’t know, can we do that?” Eli asked before raising both of his middle fingers. “I’m sure you can blur that out, right?”

Anyone that was watching the ESPN2 broadcast of Monday Night Football quickly learned that the assumption Eli Manning made was incorrect. There was his own double bird on live TV for all to see.

He was clearly informed during the commercial break that the gesture was not blurred. When the Manningcast returned, he apologized to the audience.

“Alright, alright, sorry. Earlier I did the double bird; I guess that’s frowned upon,” Eli Manning said over Chris Long’s laughter. So I apologize if I offended anybody. That’s what a nine-year-old did to me, so I thought I could do it back.”

This isn’t the first time something happening on Eli’s set has disrupted the Manningcast. In Week 1 his fire alarm went off in the middle of Peyton’s conversation with Travis Kelce. It seems unlikely that these moments would be planned, but they are certainly becoming the standouts of the broadcast.

Peyton and Eli Manning now get a little break from one another. They will take three weeks off. The Manningcast will return in Week 7 when the New Orleans Saints travel to Seattle. With guests becoming a staple of the Manningcast, it seems reasonable to think that may be the week it becomes an even bigger family affair. Peyton and Eli’s father Archie played for the Saints during his NFL career.

Archie did make an appearance in Week 3 but it was less about talking football and more about getting his son to fix his cellphone.

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Sports TV News

Freddy Rolón Elevated to SVP of Programming, Scheduling At ESPN

“The position leaves Rolón in charge of the schedule and content strategy for ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, and ESPNEWS”

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Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN announced a promotion within their programming department this week. The network is elevating Freddy Rolón to senior vice president of programming and scheduling. Rolón previously held the vice president of programming and scheduling role.

The position leaves Rolón in charge of the schedule and content strategy for ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, along with his role overseeing ESPN Deportes’ linear and digital business.

“The pause in sports caused by the COVID-19 break brought an unprecedented level of unpredictability due to the ever-changing landscape, thousands of cancelled events, altered or postponed seasons, and more,” said Burke Magnus, President, Programming and Original Content, ESPN. “Throughout that time, one factor remained constant – Freddy’s steady hand. While new to his role in programming and scheduling when the pandemic started, he led with excellence, and his strategic thinking guided us during a very tumultuous period.”

Rolón plays an integral part in ESPN’s appeal to Hispanic fans, working closely with production, audio, and digital areas to maximize the draw of English-language broadcasts.

The executive joined ESPN in 2004 and has spent the better part of this last decade building ESPN Deportes into the entity it is today. Rolón held the position of vice president & general manager at ESPN Deportes from 2016 to 2020. From 2011-2016, he served as vice president of ESPN Deportes programming and business initiatives. That title made Rolón responsible for overseeing all ESPN Deportes programming, from acquisitions and development, all the way to scheduling.

Like plenty of high-ranking ESPN voices before him, Rolón started at ESPN as an intern at the company. Shining in the ESPN International program. Rolón then joined the network as senior manager of marketing for ESPN Deportes upon earning his MBA.

That role led to a stint on the radio side of the network as senior director of marketing and integration of ESPN Radio from 2005 to 2007.

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