Connect with us

BSM Writers

Summer Radio Is the Best Time to Experiment

The point is sports radio is fun and always topical. If you are seeing it on social media, so are your listeners. Remember… fun. Don’t be afraid to wade into the silly either.

Published

on

Summer Radio

I love the summer. It has nothing to do wit the sun, most definitely nothing to do with this sinister humidity and the longer days mean nothing to me. I love it because this is the time of the year that sports radio can innovate. Summer radio is the best radio.

Summer is perfect for you, your show and your station to shine. Pun aside, I mean it. There is a heavy temptation to want to show up, clock-in, do your time and clock-out. Sports just aren’t as active in totality like they are between September and Mid-June. There is only so many times we can say “blood-money” and it matter.

Unless you are in a market that is dying on ever MLB team’s pitch or one that feels like position battles are meaningful content in July and August, it can feel like a haul waking up each morning to plan for two, three or four hours of discussion. But friends, it doesn’t have to feel that way. Summer radio is the time to implement experiment radio.

Before I toss some ideas out there, a major tenet of mine needs to preface it. Don’t trash your audience favorites. If you think quarterback battles in July is notable, and you can bring some fire to that discussion, don’t stop. The thing about this format is that its fuel is energy and passion. Don’t do it just to do it, feel it before then feel it on the air. People will be there for you to hear you, to engage with you, to care if you have that in your voice and on your topic. These ideas are for the sprinkling.

My favorite thing to do this time of year is experiment with guests. This one I might get a lot wordy with. I am a big believer in not having a lot of guests on your show. In my world, when I listen to a show, I want the opinions of the folks in the chairs. However, guests do matter and not just because they can give you insight you don’t have. They matter because… they are filler. Not in a bad way, necessarily.

I fully understand you are programming 10-20 hours a week of content. The temptation is strong to book a guest and then ask them to be a standing regular. There’s a place for that, no doubt. But, the summer is THE BEST time to play around with different voices.

It was in the summer that I found some of my favorite guests. In the summer listeners tend to be fewer, they tend to be less judgmental so you have a bit of a leash to broaden your scope. If you stop and consider it, we all listen to a lot of the same experts over and over again. There’s nothing wrong with them, but I always knew there was someone else worthy of a shot to impress our audience if I just looked. I never would have found those people if I didn’t stop myself from the routine and investigated further. What’s the worst that could happen? They suck? You control the airtime, baby!

No one wants to say this aloud about radio but here it is: it’s all air. It is literally all air. If a segment is bad, it goes away almost immediately and you get to try again in the next segment or next day (unless it is stupendously bad). I have done bad interviews, really bad ones, more times than I’d like to admit. No one remembers them. No one remembers the good ones either. The ones they remember are the ones that touch the sun for the good and bad. Those are few and far between don’t usually come from regulars.

More idea chatter incoming. There has never been a more popular time than this very one to really get entrenched with sports betting. It’s a longtime part of sports but it’s a longer-time part of our lives. We love our opinions and putting stakes on them. A new study was just released YESTERDAY that said radio listeners are far more likely to be interested in sports betting and its content than television viewers. What’s that mean? It means buy in right now. If you aren’t already diving headfirst into that content stream, go get your suit this summer.

The content can be about finding guests you like that can talk about it, sure. Frankly most of those are trying to sell your listeners a service. What it really should mean is YOU and YOUR STATION getting more comfortable with the topic. If you don’t know the nomenclature, let’s start learning and introducing it into the show slowly. Experiment with ways to make your experience unique for your listeners. For example, on Twitter several weeks ago I started a bit about giving picks via Haiku.

Is it the best idea? I don’t know. I enjoyed the ones I did but I was playing around with the presentation of the same old content. People talk about this all the time. Sports betting, not the Haikus. You need to be with them. Baseball season is a perfect time to get aclimated. There’s still 100 games left for everyone. Do you want listeners to compete with you? Do you want them to compete against each other? Should you introduce a poll at the beginning of the show that decides by the end of the program how you bet a matchup? Don’t stop thinking.

Hey, if you decide to go Haiku on the people, send me a message. You are my kind of people.

Segments based around food are always a fun idea to play with providing you have a little bit of an idea of what the end goal should be. You are probably aware of Barstool’s Dave Portnoy and his traveling rating guide to pizza in New York City (and beyond). He has been going around rating pizzas for years. Well, Matt Chernoff of 680 the Fan in Atlanta aimed for a similar goal, instead opting to look for the best quesadilla in Atlanta. The video is below.

Is it the best content? For me, that doesn’t matter in the slightest. He, and 680 the Fan, tried something. They experimented to see what the appetite for it was amongst their listeners/followers.

Your show could look for the best local “INSERT FOOD HERE”. It could get a jumpstart on the football season and try and find the “OFFICIAL TAILGATE FOOD ITEMS OF YOUR STATION/SHOW”. Blind taste tests have always proven the ability to create good content especially if someone on your staff claims to have a knack for a flavor or even an aversion to one.

Games. I love listening to shows play games. The more audio elements you can add, the better. The amazing thing about sports radio is that it is a lot more versatile than you think. People just want to hear people talking about things they talk about. That’s why it’s so great to create ways to play games that involve what people are talking about right now.

One example is a trend on Tik Tok that has people give a numerical rating to a person (1-10) and then asking another person what that numerical rating would be if they factored in a trait about that person. For example: she’s a 9 but her favorite band is Toto. You’d then tell me what her rating would be factoring the entire equation. You could put a sportsy spin on it if you must and say: she’s a 6 but her favorite player is Jose Altuve.

The point is sports radio is fun and always topical. If you are seeing it on social media, so are your listeners. Remember… fun. Don’t be afraid to wade into the silly either. I won’t judge. I used to impersonate Paul Bearer while predicting football games.

An effective way to try and think of games is to start with something everyone is talking about. Brainstorm all around the topic. Even think of the show name or topic and think about wordplay with it, puns.

One of the finest examples of that is from Toucher and Rich on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston. A few years ago they used the popularity of Game of Thrones to inspire a game called Game of Thrones. Two contestants would be asked to name a certain number of items in a category (like name five works of fiction) and the contestants, standing in bathroom stalls, would wager who could name them in the fewest amount of flushes. It’s incredibly dumb, but incredibly fun. That’s sports radio and that’s how you can create memorable content.

Man on the street bits are the absolute best. I adore these. It’s real audio from real people. The premise is simple: send someone to an event that is going to be well attended, whether it’s a game or a big movie opening or a carnival, and you ask people questions. Then you get to use the good answers on the air. It’s a perfect setup for comedy gold.

You can ask basic sports questions. Maybe you want to ask about the local team specifically. Perhaps you’d like to test their entertainment acumen or get their fresh reaction after a big movie or a team’s win/loss. Now is a magnificent time to get to practicing it. Hint from experience: look for the inebriated ones first.

The grand idea is that this time of year is special. It gives you the chance to reshuffle your cards. You can be a little looser than what would traditionally would be expected during peak rating books. You could also discover an awful lot about you, your show and station and springboard that to creating dominant content in the future. Sports radio is so damn cool that way.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

BSM Writers

ESPN is Supposed to Be My Escape

Sports has always been the thing that allows me to check out for a few hours and forget life’s issues. Whichever side you fall on the Roe v. Wade debate, and that is a hot one, could you imagine twenty years ago it would be subject to an ESPN commentary by Malika Andrews as it was on Friday’s NBA Today? Don’t read me wrong here, I am in no way saying Andrews is not entitled to her opinion on that topic, I am just saying it is amazing ESPN has moved to a place where things like an emotional commentary against a Supreme Court ruling is commonplace.

Published

on

ESPN Supreme Court

I will always intend this column to be a fun space. It is the way I have always done my show and lived my life. Sports has always been an escape for me from the news of the world. Not certain if you have noticed, though, our nation is politically divided right down the middle.

That divide, unfortunately, has found its way into the world of sports. By virtue of that, it has found its way to the outlet where we consume the most sports, ESPN. Many will argue it is incumbent on ESPN talent to share their stance on societal and political issues, even when they don’t cross over in a way that directly impacts the sports world. I disagree. I would prefer those that deliver my sports do just that, deliver my sports.

I’ll say this now: I fully accept this is not a popular opinion among the loudest in the room. I’ll be labeled many things for saying that and it will not be the first time, or the last, I’ll be told I am beyond wrong. It will not be the first time I’m told I’m something of a simpleton. I’ll be abundantly clear that I do not care one bit about any of that. My life will continue and I’ll keep doing my show either way.

There are people who agree with me and may not say it. They are afraid to be shouted down or told they don’t care enough about social issues, that sports shouldn’t be so important to them that they can’t see the bigger picture. They don’t want to be viewed as racist, sexist, bigoted, crazy, woke or any other horrible name they might be called.

You see, there is no nuance in American debate anymore, be it political or sports. You either agree with me or you are an idiot. Even worse, you might be an awful person, or a Nazi or a racial supremicist or a snowflake. How in the world has it come to this?

Sports has always been the thing that allows me to check out for a few hours and forget life’s issues. Whichever side you fall on the Roe v. Wade debate, and that is a hot one, could you imagine twenty years ago it would be subject to an ESPN commentary by Malika Andrews as it was on Friday’s NBA Today? Don’t read me wrong here, I am in no way saying Andrews is not entitled to her opinion on that topic, I am just saying it is amazing ESPN has moved to a place where things like an emotional commentary against a Supreme Court ruling is commonplace.

If I want that, I have no problem finding it. FOX News, CNN, MSNBC and any sorts of social media and digital outlets give me a cornucopia of opinions. But, where do I go now if I want to avoid that commentary? Where is my escape?

I’m sure it reads as if I am trying to single out ESPN. That is not my intention at all but we all know ESPN dominates the Monday-Friday sports television landscape. When I first plop down in my favorite chair, my immediate impulse is turning on ESPN just to see what they are showing at that given moment. I may not always stick around but I certainly start there.

ESPN has earned that. They have spent and worked to become and remain the Worldwide Leader in Sports. As it is said, though, to whom much is given, much is required. ESPN has earned a massive platform that is consumed by a massive and diverse audience. What percentage of that audience is comfortable with their social and political commentary?

That leads to another concern. How much does ESPN strive to ensure the non-sports commentary on their platform gives equal time to both viewpoints? To be fair, we don’t get that from the cable news networks so it may be too high of an expectation for a sports network. That said, ESPN fills their daytime lineup with shows dedicated to talking heads who consistently take opposing viewpoints on every single sports topic. If the societal and political issues are that much more important, wouldn’t they at least deserve that same treatment?

I’ll be told my escape isn’t as important as societal and political issues. There is some truth in that, I accept it. I only ask if it is necessary for it to constantly invade my sports? There are more outlets than ever for discussion of those topics and it has become increasingly impossible to avoid it anywhere.

The saddest part in all of this is that it seems impossible our nation will ever again be at any level of peace and unity to allow the sports world to permanently be the fun, relaxing escape it once was. We are a polarized nation and both sides can’t imagine they could possibly be wrong and the other side could possibly be sane.

In the meantime, I’ll just be sitting here waiting for the game to start. Maybe I’m the crazy one.

Continue Reading

BSM Writers

Danny Zederman Is Focused on Serving ESPN 1000’s Fans

“You need to be a good listener to be in radio,” expressed Zederman. “It’s not always about talking – a lot of radio has to do with listening; listening to what’s going on with the fans; listening to what’s going on with the talent.”

Published

on

Certain memories from childhood find a way to stick with you. For Danny Zederman, one of those memories is being seated in his mother’s car in Chicago listening to a surfeit of talk radio and being captivated by the power of the aural medium. Whether it was Howard Stern, Jonathan Brandmeier or Steve Dahl, there was always the sound of a familiar voice permeating through the car speakers, cultivating a perdurable appeal to what was being said. Throughout his youth, Zederman was infatuated with radio and thought about potentially pursuing a career in it.

Zederman attended college at The University of Kansas and studied journalism; however, he was relatively uncertain about what he wanted to do upon his graduation. Seeking advice, he conferred with a school counselor who posed a question to him that he remembers to this day.

“‘Danny, what can you do for eight or more hours a day and get paid for it, or not get paid for it; what’s something you’re passionate about?,’” Zederman recalled the counselor asking him. “I said, ‘I’m passionate about sports, and I’m passionate about the radio.’”

The sports radio format was still in its growth phase at the time Zederman attended college in the late 1990s, and the ways to begin working in it were not as widely known. As a result, Zederman had to perform much of his own research to learn the available roles and unearth the path to a successful career. Once this research was complete, he knew that the sports radio industry was for him and started trying to position himself for success in this competitive industry. After all, Zederman grew up in the city of Chicago as an avid sports fan and a steadfast radio listener by osmosis wherefore he sought to merge his two passions into a career.

Over two decades later, Zederman has experienced his journey in radio at home in “The Windy City,” starting his career in 2002 as the operations manager of Newsweb’s conglomerate of Chicago-based stations: WSBC, WCSN, WNDZ and WCFJ. He began working as a producer at The Score in late 2003 and stayed there for just over two years before making the move to ESPN 1000 WMVP Chicago in 2006. In this role, Zederman proved to be an integral part to the station’s development, producing notorious radio programs including Mac, Jurko & Harry, Kap & J. Hood and Silvy & Carmen. One of Zederman’s favorite memories from his time at the station came in 2016 when his beloved Chicago Cubs won Game 7 of the World Series, breaking their infamous 108-year-long championship drought.

“I got to be [at] Game 7 of the World Series, [and] that was incredible,” Zederman said. “The next day we went on the air; my favorite baseball team of all-time just won the World Series… and I’m producing a sports talk radio show celebrating a game that I was at in which the Cubs won the World Series – that was incredible.”

Good Karma Brands purchased ESPN 1000 WMVP Chicago as part of a $15 million long-term affiliation agreement with The Walt Disney Company that also included ESPN 710 KSPN Los Angeles and ESPN 1050 WEPN New York. While ESPN 1000 was being operated by Good Karma Brands since October 2019 under a local marketing agreement, Zederman remained in his role as a show producer.

Yet shortly after the official purchase of the station at the start of the new year, Zederman was promoted to director of content, a role he has since been working in for just under seven months. While he has a new title, Zederman knows working as a producer for over fifteen years effectively prepared him for this new responsibility in radio management.

“I’ve got to think about things further down the line than just the next day’s show like you do when you’re a producer, but you’re still wearing the same hat,” expressed Zederman. “The goal is to find out what the fan wants to hear; what the fan wants to consume; and how to best serve the fan. Although the role’s different, I think being a producer is the best minor-league system for somebody who wants to go into programming because you have a great touch [and] a great feel for what the fans want.”

From an outsider’s perspective, making the shift from being a producer to being director of content could seem daunting because of potential animosity from new subordinates. For Zederman though, garnering their respect was not a difficult task because of his longevity at the station, familiarity with the staff and enduring desire to position the station for sustained success.

“I’ve been here for almost seventeen years. I’ve worked for most of these guys and gals that work in this building,” said Zederman. “They’ve seen my work ethic; they’ve seen how much I care; they’ve seen how much I want this place to succeed, and they respect that.”

In his previous role as a producer, Zederman worked closely with various program directors at ESPN Chicago, including Mitch Rosen, Adam Delevitt and Justin Craig. Over the years, he picked up on various proclivities and other skills they had in an effort to excel in his new role and be the best manager possible, one of which is to value the opinions of colleagues and let them be expressed.

“Justin Craig… was a tremendous listener,” said Zederman. “As a leader, he would listen to us; he would let us talk; he would let us vent; he would let us express ourselves; he would hear everything. I think that’s one thing I learned from him is to manage people, it’s important for them to be heard and to feel heard.”

While the quotidian operations of the station did not significantly change following the ownership shift, Zederman began working with senior vice president and market manager Keith Williams, who has been with Good Karma Brands since 1999. Williams started in his role as a market manager for ESPN Digital in Baltimore, M.D. and Washington, D.C. in 2018, and following a three-year stint in Madison, Wisconsin, joined ESPN 1000 in Chicago last October. His leadership skills and ability to relate to people has helped Zederman assimilate into his new role at the station and gives him another dependable colleague on the team.

“Keith is absolutely incredible – he is probably the best leader that I’ve ever worked with,” said Zederman. “He understands people; he understands situations; he’s a great listener, a great communicator and he’s all about teamwork. We’ve always had a great culture here at ESPN Chicago, but he’s taken that to another level with his ability to understand everybody’s role.”

The market manager for ESPN Chicago before Williams was Mike Thomas, who is now the senior vice president and marketing manager for Audacy in Boston. Thomas, a Chicago-area native, left his job as program director for 98.5 The Sports Hub in October 2019 to join ESPN 1000 in Chicago, and was with the station for two years. In that time, he proved to be instrumental in the creation of the morning drive show Kap and J. Hood, along with overseeing the station’s move on FM via digital HD2 transmission. The change in market manager was prompted by Thomas’ resignation from the position in October 2021 to return to Boston.

“Mike Thomas is a wizard when it comes to programming,” said Zederman. “He was innovative; he had a great sense for what good content was [and] he had a great sense for what the fans wanted. I learned from him how content is created for the fan and how to stay ahead of the curb and always be innovating… changing direction… and finding what’s next.”

As director of content for ESPN 1000, part of Zederman’s job is to ensure the station is generating favorable ratings and revenue. Despite Nielsen being the standard for ratings in radio though, Zederman relies on other metrics to genuinely delineate the performance of his station against more than just its radio counterparts.

“I never get too high when the ratings are good. I never get too low when the ratings are bad,” said Zederman. “I understand how Nielsen measures ratings, so I kind of take it with a grain of salt. It’s not an exact science.”

Accurately instantiating radio performance in the 21st-century extends beyond the scope of simply reviewing the Nielsen ratings on a regular basis. Managers today intricately monitor an assortment of other statistics representative of a multiplatform media environment with an excess of voices and audiovisual content.

“I look at the stream numbers; that’s far more accurate,” said Zederman when discussing his dependance on radio ratings. “I look at our podcast downloads – we have over a million podcast downloads a month; that’s a huge number…. So I look at that to know, ‘Hey, we are resonating with our fans no matter what the Nielsen numbers say – positive or negative.’ There are metrics that we have that are far more accurate.”

Shortly before the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the United States in March 2020, ESPN 1000 released its mobile app where users can stream ESPN 1000 programming live wherever they may be. The app also gives users the ability to listen to past programming, along with other original content including podcast-exclusive shows. Additionally, the station live streams all of it’s original shows on Twitch, creating a visual experience and the chance for listeners to join the conversation without even calling in to the show via the platform’s chat function.

Even before March 2020, sports media was in the midst of a rapid shift towards digital content accessible to listeners on their own schedule, and the change remains ongoing. Staying ahead of the curb by continuing to innovate and monitor changes in the industry are parts of the job Zederman seeks to master to ensure the station remains prudent and able to compete with other sources of content creation. Those sources of content creation extend far beyond the other prominent sports radio station in town: 670 The Score.

“I don’t really worry about competing with The Score,” affirmed Zederman. “The truth is I’m competing with iTunes; I’m competing with Spotify; I’m competing with The Ringer. Nowadays, you can get audio in so many different places that if I think I’m just competing with the other sports talk station in town, I’m in big trouble.”

Part of the shift in content distribution is resultant upon a profusion of new research suggesting that while younger demographics enjoy listening to aural content, they do so less through the traditional radio medium. Rather, audio is being consumed in a variety of different ways, whether it be through digital streams, podcasts, on-demand shows or visual simulcasts, and is only continuing to expand. That is why while ESPN 1000 is on the FM dial, albeit through an HD2 stream, it does not make a significant impact in terms of the reach of the station, nor does it serve as a primary driver of future content.

“You ask somebody between the ages of 15 and 24 the last time they turned on a radio; they probably haven’t done it in months,” Zederman surmised. “If we want to reach our fans, there are so many different platforms to reach them – that’s what they focus on.”

ESPN 1000 has a variety of local and national content varying from live radio shows to original podcasts. While podcasting has incontrovertibly made its assimilation into sports radio, Zederman believes the two aural mediums can effectively coexist despite marketplace saturation because of each one’s innate components that appeal to audio’s consumption base.

“There are times when it is more convenient to listen to a podcast, and that’s obviously why we make our shows available on podcasts, [and] why we have original content podcasts,” Zederman explained. “…I also think there’s an aspect to live radio that will never go away. The day after a Bears game when they lose ugly to the Packers and Aaron Rodgers says ‘I own you,’ there’s nothing like live radio with these hosts pissed off pounding the table and the callers from all over the Chicagoland area calling in to vent their frustration.”

Every source of content distribution seeks to differentiate themselves from others through what materials they release to consumers, yet that also comes with attracting and retaining the most optimal talent. As a director of content, Zederman knows that what the station is able to do is guided by the characteristics of the talent, making the managerial tasks of recruitment and retention essential for future development.

“The number one most important thing in what I do is prioritizing the fan,” said Zederman. “The fan’s the most important thing because they’re consuming the product. The next most important thing is the talent. You have good talent; you have talent that can tell a story. Talent can make any content interesting.”

Talent are also now able to keep in touch with their listeners for more than just their allotted time slot on the air, truly affording radio personalities the chance to better know their consumers and understand their needs and wants. The intimate relationship long-heralded as the crux of the argument for live radio’s perpetuity and eminence indeed extends outside of the reach of the AM/FM frequency.

“Social media is a great way for the talent to become brands and to get a following,” Zederman said, “and hopefully that following tune into the show the next day… Social media is a great way for the talent to engage with the fan, and I think we just have to continue to go that way and embrace it. It’s a great tool for what we do.”

Sports media is unequivocally different than it was when it initially launched, yet the guiding principle of the industry – that is, to serve the fan – remains the same. Just how effectively the fan is being served is representative of the independent variable, and determines the concurrent ratings and revenue, or dependent variable.

“I think the important thing is to just keep giving people content on multiple different platforms,” said Zederman. “We don’t know what’s next, [but] whatever the next platform is, we’re going to be there.”

For aspiring professionals looking to work in radio management, along with those currently holding management roles at radio stations, Zederman knows that being versatile in one’s ability to understand and perform various roles at the station makes you more relatable to colleagues and able to adapt to sudden changes. But there is one truly unspoken rule of being in management that has been imperative in keeping Zederman in Chicago. It’s a piece of advice that does not require power to be supplied to a microphone in a studio. In fact, it does not require any electricity.

“You need to be a good listener to be in radio,” expressed Zederman. “It’s not always about talking – a lot of radio has to do with listening; listening to what’s going on with the fans; listening to what’s going on with the talent.”

As Zederman continues to work in his first year as director of content for Good Karma Brands’ ESPN 1000 WMVP Chicago, he seeks to continue the station’s ongoing innovation and work to create compelling, informative and entertaining sports content. His thinking centers around satisfying three groups of people he is cognizant of every day on the job, imperative to the present standing and rise to an acclivity where the station seeks to soar.

“I want to serve our fans; I want to serve our partners; and I want to serve our teammates,” Zederman said, “and if every day we are doing those three things, then it’s successful.”

Continue Reading

BSM Writers

ESPN’s Daily Wager Has Found Its Sweet Spot

Rather than catering to a specific audience, it targets the broad sports fan in general who may be an absolute novice, a knowledgeable bettor, and all those in-between.

Published

on

Daily Wager

When it debuted in March of 2019, ESPN’s betting show Daily Wager was a vast improvement on a similar product Fox Sports provided. Despite fewer than ten states having legalized sports wagering at that time, it provided the network with an early foothold in the sports gambling media space. Since then, legalized markets have nearly quadrupled. The industry has taken off and is now filled with podcasts, television shows, and radio shows.

Airing every weekday at 6pm ET on ESPN2, the one-hour show is aimed at the casual gambler. There are multiple segments in which the crew breaks down upcoming sporting events, discusses the betting lines for them, and analyzes news and statistical trends from a betting standpoint. The sidebar displays line information for games that night. The bottom section often gives information such as future wagers for the major sports. The show also features discussions pertaining to games and events from the day or weekend before, including line movements. For example, last Friday they broke down the see-saw movement of lines for who would be taken first overall in the previous night’s NBA Draft. 

Doug Kezirian hosts the show, which went on hiatus for part of 2020 at the height of the pandemic. He is based out of Las Vegas and is joined every day by a rotating cast of analysts and contributors. ESPN’s top betting expert, Kezirian studied economics at Brown and possesses a strong knowledge of data. He does a good job of breaking down information while being entertaining. In addition, Kezirian hosts a short companion podcast that builds on the show discussions, and provides some additional betting picks from the crew.

Joining Kezirian are some familiar names to long-time fans of the network. “Stanford Steve” Coughlin, who made his breakthrough with Scott Van Pelt on his daily radio show way back in the day, is a regular guest. Chris “The Bear” Fallica. Fallica, who co-hosts a podcast with Coughlin, rose to prominence with his segments on College Gameday long before sports wagering was readily available. Additional contributors to the show include Erin Dolan, Joe Fortenbaugh, and Tyler Fulghum.

As an experienced gambler who looks very hard at in-depth analytics and is familiar with modeling, the show is a bit underwhelming to me. I’ve spoken with multiple individuals who offer gambling advice services, and not one of them views it as a valuable product. That’s due to the lack of statistical breakdown beyond basic averages, rankings, and recent trends.

From what I’ve watched of the show, there are no deep dives into anything dealing with regressions. There is no discussion of value versus odds, or matchup metrics. Furthermore, the time slot for the show prevents any real ability to advise bettors on line mistakes, or the ability to beat the closing line on most games. It also doesn’t allow for news of weekend events, especially NFL games where player availability might not become finalized until Sunday morning.

And you know what? That’s perfectly ok.

Daily Wager is not designed to target me, or professional bettors. It’s not designed to be a tool for people to become so adept at winning that they can quit their jobs and live the dream life. The program is targeted for the casual gamer, the man or woman who comes home from work, relaxes on the couch, and wants to bet a shekel or two on a sporting event that night. The show helps give them insight on information they didn’t have time to dig through while they were working in the office. It gives them some plays they can tail or allows them to formulate a wager of their own.

Rather than catering to a specific audience, it targets the broad sports fan in general who may be an absolute novice. It grabs a knowledgeable bettor too and all those in-between. They cover a wide variety of sports. They bounce between the most popular events down to more niche sports like tennis. Sometimes they move a bit too fast due to time constraints and wanting to keep the content fresh in a manner that doesn’t overwhelm their audience.

While it’s a bit too driven by base statistics and trends for someone like myself, it doesn’t come across to the more casual player as an overly-pretentious product dripping with hardcore analytic data that could induce a glaze-eyed effect on a tired viewer. While the production holds little value for fans with zero gambling interest, it’s an alternative in its time slot to SportsCenter for those who want more news about the games and fewer highlights.

Additionally, the chemistry between the talent on the show is evident with just one viewing, and the rotating cast prevents the voices from becoming too stale to their regular audience. Kezirian and company have done a solid job of carving out their own niche, although I’m not sure there’s a way to really expand it given their time slot being perfect for their intended audience. 

But maybe they don’t need to. In a space that is becoming flooded with nerdy discussions–which I love–and lots of voices giving in-depth breakdowns, Daily Wager provides a solid, entertaining product for the more casual viewer. As more states open to sports betting, especially with the NFL season right around the corner, ESPN and Kezirian may have found the perfect recipe for success.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Barrett Media Authors

Copyright © 2021 Barrett Media.