ESPN may not have plans for a branded sportsbook yet, but the worldwide leader in sports is expanding the scope of its sports betting content heading into the new NFL season. The expansion of gambling content is not just TV and extends to digital and radio as well.
“Fans are craving sports betting content, and ahead of and during football season we want to provide it to them,” Scott Clark, Vice President, Fantasy & Sports Betting Content, ESPN said in a release. “We have added some talented minds to the diverse and well-respected industry experts we already have, and are implementing new creative ideas into the mix. Now we’re just ready to watch it all unfold starting with football season.”
Daily Wager and Doug Kezirian making some changes
Three years ago, the network launched a sports betting-centered show, Daily Wager, airing daily on ESPN2. The host of the show, Doug Kezirian, will continue to be involved with the show, but he is stepping down as the host to take on a new role as ESPN Sports Betting Insider.
In his new role, Kezirian will appear across the schedule of ESPN shows to weigh in with a sports betting take. Here’s how the release described Kezirian’s new duties:
“That includes multiple betting columns per week on ESPN.com, such as last-minute football betting advice, insider perspective and picks on Saturdays and Sundays. He will also contribute similarly to ESPN Radio programming, particularly on weekends throughout the college football and NFL seasons.”
ESPN Sports Betting Analyst Tyler Fulgham will take over as Daily Wager’s host while continuing his contributor role on other programs.
New social and digital ESPN betting content in the pipeline
Joe Fortenbaugh, another ESPN Sports Betting Analyst, will continue to contribute to Daily Wager in addition to helming his own new podcast related to wagering.
Erin Dolan, who moved from FanDuel over to ESPN last year will host a new show on Snapchat titled Bet with Erin Dolan streaming every Monday, Thursday, and Sunday throughout football season.
ESPN Radio’s Anita Marks will appear on Dolan’s new program and also host an ESPN LA radio show of her own around betting once a week.
Purdum getting company on the writing team
Longstanding ESPN contributor David Payne Purdum is still a major part of ESPN’s sports betting efforts. In fact, he will be working to create more interesting longform content around the industry.
The newly signed Liz Lola will also contribute to the betting editorial with pieces tying fantasy and betting together. There will also be written adaptations of content from Stanford Steve & the Bear and Scott Van Pelt’s Winners segment on SportsCenter.
A recent study by OddsAssist suggested 73% of bettors would trust and bet with an ESPN-branded sportsbook. While there are no plans for it yet, these steps into expanding the betting discussion across the brands indicate the network understands the growing presence of betting in the US sports conversation.