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ESPN Launching Digital Betting Show Ahead Of UFC Events

“When Brett and I break down each matchup, the goal is to educate the audience and provide information that is easily understood.”

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Courtesy: Elizabeth Bucheit/ESPN

The UFC and betting are deeply intertwined, and ESPN is ready to capitalize on that relationship with a new show. Brett Okamoto and Ian Parker are the hosts of Best Bets on the ESPN MMA YouTube channel, airing before every pay-per-view UFC card.

“The UFC fan base continues to grow, and we need to keep raising our game to best serve them,” ESPN vice president of production Glenn Jacobs said in the announcement. “These three new shows give fans a lot of unique content to enjoy across a variety of ESPN’s platforms. Our MMA team is excited to add a betting show to the mix, with the addition of Ian Parker, which will give fans the latest information they need to get ready for Fight Nights and PPVs on ESPN+.”

Parker is joining ESPN in a more defined role after appearing on multiple Professional Fighters League broadcasts this year. Previously part of the Florida Panthers sales team in the NHL, Parker has busted down obstacles for 12 years, waiting for this chance.

“When Brett and I break down each matchup, the goal is to educate the audience and provide information that is easily understood,” Parker said. “We don’t just say who will win, but how. Also, we explain how to find value based on the odds of the various prop bets that are based on how the fight will be decided and when…It’s been years of hard work. Sometimes, you have to keep grinding until you get your shot. This is the opportunity I’ve been working for.”

Fans shouldn’t expect to hear Parker rip any fighter too much if they don’t cash a ticket for him and the viewers.

“I never call any fighter a loser or a bum,” he continued. “I have too much respect for the blood, sweat, and tears behind their journey to get in there.”

The first live version of the show airs next week.

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Pete Rose Launching Sports Betting Podcast

“VSiN’s Ben Wilson is co-hosting the podcast with Rose that costs listeners $2.99 a month to access.”

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Courtesy: Associated Press / News Tribune

A lot of sentiment around sports gambling has changed since Major League Baseball banned Pete Rose for betting on the sport in 1989. Now, 32 years later, the all-time MLB hits leader is launching a betting picks podcast on Quake Media.

The premium podcast service is airing the show six times a week, with Rose offering his wagering insight on everything from this year’s MLB Playoffs to horse racing. The first episode was released this week, and fans can sign up for the service on the Quake Media website or through Apple Podcast Subscriptions.

VSiN’s Ben Wilson is co-hosting the podcast with Rose. It costs listeners $2.99 a month to access.

“I watch baseball every day. If it’s not baseball season, I watch another pro sport every day,” said Rose in the Quake Media announcement.

“This is going to be a fun chance for me to talk about the sports I love. I’ll share how I think about games with Ben and the fans; then we can watch and learn together. There are some insights, I believe, that only an old guy like me may think of. I’m excited to share my winning predictions with my fans.”

Quake Media is a subscription-based podcast service that launched in Oct. 2020. Names like Laura Ingraham, Soledad O’Brien, Mike Huckabee, Marc Lamont Hill, Gretchen Carlson, Buck Sexton, and Andrew Gillum all house shows on the platform.

This is the company’s first foray into sports after opening the brand with a politics-heavy lineup in light of their launch falling two weeks before the 2020 Presidential Election.

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Bob Arum Goes Off On Reporters Kate Abdo, Mike Coppinger

“They bring this woman in from the UK, and she’s slanting all the press coverage to Wilder! I don’t give a damn, but it’s obvious that that’s what she was doing.“

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The world of boxing can be very tricky when it comes to promoting. Seemingly every fighter has a different promoter that comes with their own requests and rules before the fight.

The trilogy between top boxing heavyweights Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury is no different it seems, as there are already issues prior to the event jointly hosted by ESPN and Fox on Saturday, October 9th.

Bob Arum, the founder and CEO of Top Rank, which has a deal with Fury, is not a fan of Kate Abdo, who FOX has brought in as a reporter for the event. He was not shy in sounding off about what he considered bad behavior on her part.

“They bring this woman in from the UK, and she’s slanting all the press coverage to Wilder! I don’t give a damn, but it’s obvious that that’s what she was doing. And then, she knew that the understanding was ‘No faceoff,’ I argued with Fox ‘No faceoff.’ We said ‘No faceoff.’ And what does she say? ‘Now we’re going to do a faceoff.’ F*** her and f*** them! There was no faceoff, and we saved the fight.” yelled Arum.

When Kate Abdo called for the faceoff, Arum put an end to the idea right away.

“If this fight depends on a faceoff to sell it, we have not done our job,” Arum told ESPN. “This commission realizes, because of ESPN and Fox, that boxing is back as a major sport, and we’re not going to f— it up by having these guys push each other or fight each other at a weigh-in.”

Abdo responded saying that she and the rest of the broadcast team believed that a stare down had been agreed to beforehand. She also mentioned that it was disappointing to hear Arum talk about her the way he did.

Bob Arum has been something to watch this week. Not only was he critical of Kate Abdo, he had a confrontation with ESPN’s Mike Coppinger, which FightHype.com captured on video.

Arum may not be winning over anyone in the media, but if this is what he has to do to get them talking about his fight, I don’t think he minds.

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Jim Nantz Calls Play By Play When He Golfs With NFL QBs

“The broadcaster appeared on this week’s Slow News Day with The Ringer’s Kevin Clark and revealed his interactions with a litany of NFL quarterbacks whenever they visit Pebble Beach Golf Course.”

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Courtesy: The Ringer

Jim Nantz is the voice of The Masters on CBS and any famous quarterback’s golf swing whenever they hit the links with him. 

The broadcaster appeared on this week’s Slow News Day with The Ringer’s Kevin Clark and revealed his interactions with a litany of NFL quarterbacks whenever they visit Pebble Beach Golf Course.

Nantz lives in the area and hosts some of the players for rounds of golf from time to time. He also commentates on their swings as if he’s calling a Saturday round at Augusta National. Clark wanted to know how the whole thing first got started.

“I don’t know,” Nantz said. “That’s so funny, I didn’t know the word was out like that, but being in Pebble Beach it’s amazing how many people come through. Every week you’ve got some big celebrity coming that way, and oftentimes there’s a way that I get tracked down. I don’t know they’re coming!”

Nantz, in pure broadcaster’s fashion, didn’t want to make the story about himself and start dropping names that have shown up over the years but Clark insisted.

“Yeah, Patrick [Mahomes] has actually talked about trying to make a hole-in-one in my back yard,” Nantz said. “Patrick’s been there. Josh [Allen] has been there. Ben Roethlisberger’s been there. Obviously, Brady and [Peyton] Manning. Joe Montana’s been there. Justin Herbert was there!”

Herbert struck a chord with Nantz when the broadcaster saw the second-year Chargers’ quarterback on his way up to his hometown of Eugene, OR, following the end of their season.

“There are pieces of luggage that are hanging out of one of the sides of the back window,” Nantz said, describing Herbert’s road trip setup. “The trunk is barely closed. He’s got three guys, himself and two others piling out of it, and they’re making a road trip. He’s just so down to earth; he’s such a good kid.”

Watch above for the full Slow News Day interview with Nantz.

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