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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.”

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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. 

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Greg Hill to Jeff Van Gundy: ‘You Sounded Like You Were on the Bucks’ Payroll’

“After a pregnant pause, Van Gundy answered through laughter, throwing a zinger right back at Hill and crew.”

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They are nothing if not blunt in Boston. That was the case Tuesday morning when The Greg Hill Show welcomed ABC/ESPN NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy to the program to preview the Eastern Conference Finals.

Overall, it was a cordial visit. Questions mostly focused on the headlines related to officiating throughout the playoffs and what the Celtics would have to do to make it to the NBA Finals, which Van Gundy thinks will happen.

“I think Boston’s been the best team in the league,” he said. “I think they’re gonna win it all this year.”

Greg Hill said after the conference semi-finals matchup with Milwaukee, he was surprised to hear Jeff Van Gundy felt that way.

“Jeez, I’m glad to hear you say that,” Hill told Van Gundy. “It almost sounded like you were on the Bucks’ payroll at times during that last series.”

After a pregnant pause, Van Gundy answered through laughter, throwing a zinger right back at Hill and crew.

“You know what? I get used to that and then the Bucks people say I want Boston to win. Not that you guys would be homers or anything.”

Jeff Van Gundy will join Mike Breen and Mark Jackson at the broadcast table for the Eastern Conference Finals on ABC and ESPN. Game 1 between the Celtics and Heat is scheduled for Tuesday night at 8:30 in Miami.

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99.7 The Fox Becomes New Carolina Panthers Flagship

“The new deal represents a return to The Fox for the Panthers. The station was the team’s flagship from 2000 through 2004.”

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The Carolina Panthers are on the move in Charlotte. The team is leaving WBT. Their new radio home will be 99.7 The Fox, iHeartMedia’s classic rock station.

The station will carry all Panthers game broadcasts, the Panthers pregame and postgame shows as well the team’s weekly coach’s show. There will also be an on-site presence for every home game at Bank of America Stadium.

“We are thrilled to increase iHeartSports NFL partnerships with the addition of the Carolina Panthers. The passion between a sports team and its fan base is one-of-a-kind, and we’re thrilled to expand the Carolina Panthers’ reach to their passionate supporters with our new multi-media deal,” Kevin LeGrett, President of iHeartMedia Sports, said in a press release. “iHeart’s reach in Charlotte is unprecedented, meaning more fans will hear their favorite team than ever before. The partnership will include broadcast, streaming, podcast, events, marketing and promotional elements which will drive results for the Panthers!”

“The team at 99.7 The Fox is delighted to once again be the broadcast home of the Carolina Panthers, bringing best-in-class content from the team to its dedicated and passionate fans,” Dave Carwile, President of iHeartMedia Multi-Platform Group – Charlotte, added. “We know how special the relationship and connection between the city of Charlotte, the Panthers and the fan base is, and we’re thrilled to enhance that bond with an expanded coverage area reaching more fans on 99.7 The Fox. We can’t wait to get started.”

The new deal represents a return to The Fox for the Panthers. The station was the team’s flagship from 2000 through 2004. Every other year of the franchise’s existence, their games have been heard on WBT.

“The Panthers are incredibly grateful for our partnership with Radio One, and the role that WBT has played in sharing some of the greatest moments in franchise history for 22 seasons, including each of the past 17,” Jake Burns, Chief Commercial Officer for the Carolina Panthers, said.

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Indiana Sports Talk Station Set To Flip Formats

“The promos say that station owner Woof Boom Broadcasting is “building a new radio station for Muncie and Delaware County”.

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Sports fans in Muncie, Indiana may soon lose their favorite sports station. Listeners to Muncie Sports 92.5 have heard promos teasing a new station coming to the frequency.

The promos say that station owner Woof Boom Broadcasting is “building a new radio station for Muncie and Delaware County”. The station has also changed its call letters. What was WXFN is now WMUN.

Muncie Sports 92.5 airs on two signals. 1340 AM is a 1000 watt station. 92.5 FM is a translator signal.

The station airs an hour-long local show hosted by Mark Foerster on weekdays at 4 pm. It carries syndicated programming from FOX Sports Radio and is the local affiliate for the Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Pacers, Cincinnati Reds, IndyCar Series, Ball State University football and women’s basketball, and three local high schools.

ESPN 680 is still available from nearby Marion,IN. Two Indianapolis sports talk stations are strong enough to be heard in the town as well according to Radio Locator.

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