Connect with us
Jim Cutler Demos

Sports Online

Dan Le Batard on Sports Betting and Journalism: ‘We’re All in This Changing Game’

“…the integrity of the results have to be something you trust.”

Published

on

Dan Le Batard
Courtesy: Jason Koerner, Getty Images

As sports betting continues to assimilate itself into the sports media space, questions surrounding the ethics around gambling for media professionals are continuing to be asked. League insiders such as Adrian Wojnarowski, Shams Charania and Adam Schefter are privy to information before it is released to the public, wherefore their decisions would not be seen as objective per se; that is, according to on-air host Dan Le Batard.

On Thursday’s edition of The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz, Le Batard began a discussion about the relationship between gambling and journalism. As a former member of ESPN, Le Batard has seen the launch of ESPN BET, a company-branded betting platform being operated by PENN Entertainment in 17 different states around the country.

Mandating that a large swath of people cannot bet on sporting events can be difficult to enforce because some people are more apt to break rules and engage in the practices regardless. For example, news of LeBron James’ business manager, Maverick Carter, admitting to using an illegal bookie to bet on basketball and football games in a federal investigation in 2021 was reported last week by The Washington Post.

“The integrity of the results – even though we’re talking about the refs every day and they have a disproportionate impact on the games – the integrity of the results have to be something you trust,” Dan Le Batard said. “Ultimately – and this is weird for gambling to have been in the shadows and illegal and shamed for a long time – you have to trust that nobody has insider information that’s illegal to have gathered, and so you have to spread a blanket around a lot of employees.”

Jeremy Tache added to the conversation, saying that an interesting aspect related to the entire ordeal is how Wojnarowski and Charania do not share social media posts affirming that a player is about to be selected in the NBA Draft. Instead, they use more vague, ambiguous language that implies that the pick is likely, but far from a guarantee.

Charania moved betting lines last year when he posted on Twitter that Scoot Henderson was “gaining serious momentum” at No. 2 with the Charlotte Hornets in the NBA Draft. In the end, the Hornets drafted Brandon Miller, allowing the Portland Trail Blazers to take Henderson third overall. “FanDuel is not privy to any news that Shams breaks on his platforms,” the company said in a statement to Action Network after backlash.

“That ultimately can heavily influence the way that people are gambling because the lines don’t change instantly on who’s going to go to what time,” Tache said. “That’s the stuff where we saw ESPN sort of institute, ‘Hey Woj, you can’t tweet out draft picks before they’re actually made,’ but I wonder how much that actually had to do with gambling more so than even spoiling the draft for people.”

The reason Le Batard started the conversation was because of Meadowlark Media’s content and distribution deal with DraftKings Network. Matt Barnes’ and Stephen Jackson’s All The Smoke Productions recently inked a contract with the two entities as well, bringing their popular podcast, All The Smoke, and other programming to the platform. Le Batard’s program is also now available to watch using the new Bleacher Report Sports Add-On through Warner Bros. Discovery’s Max streaming service.

“There are so many impeachments on integrity that can come from so many angles,” Le Batard said. “Never mind just referees; it’s everybody now. We’re all in this changing game [where] something that has been stigmatized is now legalized, and we all play by a set of rules that are different for me [and] that are different for you.”

Mike Ryan Ruiz, producer of the program, argued that regulation pertaining to sports gambling is a good thing, conveying how several leagues themselves have demarcated the behavior. The NFL has issued suspensions to players for gambling, along with college football – perhaps most noticeably surrounding the Iowa and Iowa State sports betting scandal. The action of wagering on games has seamlessly assimilated into a penchant for sports fans, and more advertising and convenience projects the industry to further boost these companies.

Determining how to keep the objectivity of journalism and subjectivity of wagering disparate is an ostensible reason why employees at media outlets are limited in these practices. Moreover, Dan Le Batard insinuated that an athlete could do a friend favors by prioritizing how they play for monetary gain, something Ruiz pointed out has been happening all over Europe and that the sports world is dealing with.

“Yes, it’s more accessible now, but gambling scandals are as old as sports are – be it Black Sox; be it Pete Rose,” Ruiz said. “This is something that sports have always had to navigate, and it’s actually easier now with their league partners playing ball with them.”

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Sports Online

Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit Featured As Commentary Team for ‘NCAA Football 25’

“I’m so excited to FINALLY announce that I’m part of @EASPORTSCollege
. I’m proud to be a partner and one of the voices of the game once again.”

Avatar photo

Published

on

An image of Kirk Herbstreit and Chris Fowler
Courtesy: Sports Illustrated

NCAA Football fans rejoice — NCAA Football 25 will feature ESPN’s Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit. Fowler will be making his first appearance in the game while Herbstreit will be doing it for the 14th time. The pair confirmed the news today via their X accounts:

The pair were finally able to reveal their involvement as more news came out about the game starting today. Multiple news items about the game were reported, including the participation of all 134 Division I football programs, and that college football players could opt into the game for NIL purposes. According to The Athletic’s Chris Vannini, players will receive $600 and a free copy of the game for opting in. Those who fail to opt in will be replaced by a generic avatar.

Following the initial news, Front Office Sports revealed more names attached to NCAA Football 25 — Rece Davis, Jesse Palmer, Kevin Connors, and David Pollack. All but Pollack, who was laid off from the company in June, are ESPN employees.

The last NCAA Football game was released in 2013 and started the conversation of whether players should be paid for their participation. EA Sports then stopped putting out versions of the game, despite critical and commercial success. Fan projects like College Football Revamped strived to bring the game into modern times — but now it’s no longer needed. College Football 25 will be revealed in earnest this May, with a release date slated for the summer.

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading

Sports Online

Joy Taylor and Taylor Rooks to Launch New Podcast

“This show is a space for us to be honest about our experiences, our emotions, and the way we view the world.”

Published

on

Joy Taylor and Taylor Rooks podcast logo
Courtesy: Two Personal Podcast

Fox Sports 1’s Joy Taylor and Thursday Night Football’s Taylor Rooks are teaming up for a new podcast, Two Personal, which will debut on March 6. The description of the new content says it will take on subjects beyond the world of sports such as mental health, discrmination and other social issues. The two friends plan to share things they would normally talk about only in private.

“Joy [Taylor] and I have navigated our careers together as sisters in sport, but Two Personal allows us to expand and share our private thoughts and conversations with our listeners,” said Rooks. “This show is a space for us to be honest about our experiences, our emotions, and the way we view the world. There is infinitely more to us than what we have allowed the public to see, and I’m thrilled to be in a place where I feel ready to bare my full self and give an honest look into who I am completely.”

“I am so excited to launch Two Personal with Taylor [Rooks]” Joy Taylor said. “We have spent our careers in sports and now have created an opportunity to show a different side of ourselves. The authentic, raw and exposing side of our experiences and personalities outside of sports. We can’t wait to bring our girl talk to the world!”

The podcast is scheduled to drop a new episode each Wednesday on YouTube and wherever you listen to podcasts.

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading

Sports Online

Report: Amazon Prime Video Paying $120M to Stream NFL Playoff Game

NBCU wanted to keep the game, however, the report says Amazon has a clause in its agreement for ‘Thursday Night Football’ which allows it to have first choice.

Published

on

Amazon Prime Video Logo

The Wall Street Journal is reporting Amazon and the NFL have reached agreement on a $120 million deal for Prime Video to have exclusive rights to stream an NFL playoff game at the end of the 2024 season.

Amazon had passed on the opportunity to air the game this past season. It subsequently aired on Peacock in a deal which was valued at $110 million. The AFC Wild Card round matchup between the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs made sports media history, garnering an average minute audience (AMA) of 23.0 million viewers, making the contest the most-streamed live event in the history of the United States.

NBCUniversal also revealed that the contest reached 27.6 million total viewers and peaked at an average of 24.6 million viewers during the second quarter. Engagement with the playoff game accounted for the largest internet event in history with 30% of internet traffic prioritizing the game at this time.

NBCU wanted to keep the game, however, the report says Amazon has a clause in its agreement for ‘Thursday Night Football’ which allows it to have first choice.

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Advertisement

Upcoming Events

Barrett Media Writers

Copyright © 2024 Barrett Media.