Details of new programming
NBC Sports Chicago is going to focus on sports betting and gambling content on weekday afternoons. This will be a test run to see how the audience reacts to such programming. Illinois recently legalized sports betting.
A new show called “The Daily Line” will take up four hours of programming on each weekday. This live talk show focusing on fantasy sports and sports betting will kick off on August 6.
The show will be produced through the regional network of NBC Sports, which is based in Washington. It will also be shown in Philadelphia and San Francisco in addition to NBC Sports Chicago. If a game clashes with the programming during the week, the show will move over to the NBC Sports Chicago+ channel.
“The Daily Line” initially launched in January through NBC Sports Radio, which worked alongside Westwood One on this project. It is also available to those using the NBC Sports Scores app and similar digital audio settings.
The show is now moving from audio-only to a television environment simulcast. The original hosts, Tim Murray and Michael Jenkins, will be joined on the show by a new co-host, Sara Perlman.
Television networks and sports betting
Since the US federal ban on sports betting was lifted in May 2018, television networks have been looking at ways to cash in on its popularity. In particular, ESPN and Fox Sports have been battling it out in this regard.
ESPN, one of the biggest sports networks in the country, has created a dedicated studio for producing sports betting content in a Las Vegas casino, the Linq Hotel, in partnership with the Caesars Entertainment Group. The studio will be a hub for the network’s new global sports betting content, which will open in 2020. An ESPN sports betting show called “The Daily Wager” is already on the air.
Fox Sports is taking a more direct approach. The network is planning to launch its own sports betting platform, called Fox Bet. This comes after Fox bought a 4.99% stake in the Stars Group with an option to increase this share to 50% in the coming years.
This deal was worth $236m (£194m). Two separate Fox Bet platforms will be launched. One will be a free-to-play option aimed at casual people, which will give out prizes for correctly predicting the results and the other will be a fully functioning sportsbook product.