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Sports Betting Rise Making Impact on Fans’ Viewing Experience

“You can’t watch a sporting event without a commercial break being PointsBet, MGM, Caesars SportsBook, whatever it is.”

Ricky Keeler

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With sports betting becoming legal in more states such as New York, it has the potential to affect how people view sporting events. However, that may not exactly be the case.

Peter Kafka addresses the sports betting rise on his Recode Media podcast with the latest edition titled “Game on: Behind the sports betting boom.” His guests on the show were Action Network CEO Patrick Keane and Sports Illustrated writer Richard Johnson.

While sports gambling ads for Caesars SportsBook, DraftKings, and FanDuel keep popping up during games, it might be only something that happens in bulk when states start to allow legalized sports betting. As Keane notes, the NFL can only show so many ads in a game:

“I wouldn’t say it’s going to be for the rest of your life,” he said. “What you see is massive infusion of investment when a state goes mobile legal. When the state is mobile, that’s when you start to see the Caesars SportsBook, DraftKings, FanDuel that you see a lot on television. The NFL has a mandate that you can only show six of those ads during a game.”

Johnson agreed with that sentiment and thinks it is largely because, as of right now, broadcasters are going to be nervous about eliminating the casual viewer:

“I think what you are seeing and where you always are going to see it more than during the regular game telecast is going to be on the commercials,” said Johnson. “You can’t watch a sporting event without a commercial break being PointsBet, MGM, Caesars SportsBook, whatever it is. Those commercials are going to be more and more insipid.

I think broadcasters are terrified of alienating the casual viewer. They have always been terrified of alienating the casual viewer, whether it is putting a score bug on the screen because they thought the viewer would turn off because they know the score. When John Madden was first calling games, they wouldn’t let him do actual football scheme stuff when he first started out because they said, well, that’s going to be too high level for the viewer.”

In fact, Johnson believe that sports gambling has become more mainstream thanks to Scott Van Pelt and his “Bad Beats segment on SportsCenter:

“He [Van Pelt] has really helped to make it mainstream in the sports watching and sports viewing and sports television vernacular,” Johnson said. “Increasingly, it’s becoming part of the common speak of the sports journalist and the sports fan if you are into it and if you can talk the talk.”

For Johnson, being able to write about gambling has allowed him to have another tool in his arsenal when he writes about college football because he is able to relate to more people:

“As someone who does a little bit of gambling writing but as someone who does a lot of college football writing in general,” he said, “gambling is really a thing to put in my tool kit that becomes very interesting.

“There are two ways you can go about writing about gambling. You can sort of write about the social aspect of people’s bad picks or funny picks or crazy parlays or… you can have your own numbers or own systems. I sort of dabble in both, but what it really helps me to do is sort of speak the language, especially in college football as a big sport. It helps me speak the language of using spreads and gambling projections to give predictions and set the table of what a game is going to be.”

As far as the future of alternate broadcasts or betcasts, both Keane and Johnson believe that more will pop up as more states are able to have legal sports betting:

“I think it’s not as prevalent today clearly because we are not in as many states,” said Keane. “But I think that’s going to be an experience where people are going to find it inauthentic if it is not referenced when you are at the end of a game. Is it critical mass? No, but I think you are going to see these alternative betcasts continue and start to bleed more into the traditional broadcast experience.”

This podcast is a good one for someone wanting to learn more about sports betting if you are just getting into it, as well as what the future holds for this industry. 

Sports Radio News

1010XL Jay Fund Radiothon Raises Nearly $250,000 For Pediatric Cancer Research

“In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.6 billion for the Jay Fund.”

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Jacksonville’s 1010XL used its airwaves to raise money for the Jay Fund for the fifteenth year earlier this week. The radiothon was a smashing success, raising $249,784 to fight pediatric cancer.

This year’s total is a new record for the event. In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.6 million for the Jay Fund.

“I’m truly amazed at the generosity of the 1010 XL listeners in times when a carton of eggs cost six dollars,” said General Manager Steven Griffin, “and equally amazed how the hosts, producers, radio staff and volunteers come together with a singular focus to year-after-year produce these results in one broadcast day.”

Former Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin started the Jay Fund in memory of  Jay McGillis, who developed leukemia while playing for Coughlin at Boston College.  The organization has helped over 5,000 families and given away over $16 million in grants in Northeast Florida and the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan Area.

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Sports Radio News

Parkins & Spiegel Wonder If Trent Dilfer Will Still Appear On Their Show After Taking UAB Job

“I will just say that his status with the show and the station is uncertain.”

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Former ESPN NFL analyst Trent Dilfer has been hired as the new head coach at UAB. However, Danny Parkins and Matt Spiegel wondered if that meant Dilfer would no longer be making his weekly appearances on Parkins & Spiegel on 670 The Score.

“Our guy is no longer gonna do a radio show out of Chicago?” Parkins joked, referencing an incident last month where Dilfer failed to say “Parkins & Spiegel during an appearance on The Herd with Colin Cowherd.

“I don’t know that that’s the case,” Spiegel replied.

“We don’t know that yet,” producer Shane Riordan said. “We have only shared a couple of text message — Trent and I — this morning and I will just say that his status with the show and the station is uncertain.”

Later in the show, Parkins and Spiegel jokingly wondered what jobs they could have on UAB’s staff, with Parkins balking at being a sports information director. He did say he would welcome being the offensive player caller, but believed that job might fall under the purview of Dilfer.

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Sports Radio News

Mike Milbury: Jack Edwards Is ‘Awkward’ and ‘A Different Breed’

“Like him or love him, I’m not gonna judge him. As a guy that’s been cancelled, I have no right anymore.”

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Boston Bruins television play-by-play announcer Jack Edwards has come under fire for recent comments he made about Tampa Bay Lightning forward Pat Maroon and his weight. In turn, Maroon donated money in Edwards’ name to a mental health organization. On The Greg Hill Show Thursday, former NHL on NBC analyst Mike Milbury both slammed and defended Edwards.

“Jack Edwards. Who’s Jack Edwards? He went through all of junior high school being picked on and bullied,” Milbury said. “Now he’s trying to get even. Wouldn’t you want to smack that guy, Wiggy? Skinny, scrawny, mouthy son of a bitch.”

“Jack is screaming at the TV all the time,” he continued. “I gotta turn it down half the time.”

When asked by Courtney Cox if it was appropriate for Edwards to make comments about Maroon’s weight, noting that the comments were “awkward”, Milbury said Edwards is a divisive presence.

“Jack is awkward. I think half of Boston hates him and half of Boston loves him. He certainly loves the Bruins and is passionate about it but he’s a different breed of cat. Like him or love him, I’m not gonna judge him. As a guy that’s been cancelled, I have no right anymore.”

Milbury was “cancelled” after saying NHL players in the league’s playoff “bubble” weren’t being distracted by their wives and girlfriends being present. He was dropped by the NHL on NBC after the comments and has not resurfaced on a major network.

The comments and questions to Milbury came after Cox and co-host Jermaine Wiggins disagreed about whether Edwards’ comments were warranted.

Wiggins said he “thought hockey players were supposed to be tough”, adding “he’s got a few extra LBs. It’s a joke.”

Cox countered by saying “it’s not a joke. No one should be talking about it. Jack Edwards went on for like five minutes about it. It wasn’t funny.”

Hill said when Wiggins was in the NFL, nobody cared what television broadcasters said about them. Cox argued by saying “in your day, nobody talked to a therapist, either”.

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