As sports betting becomes more mainstream in the United States, it also becomes more relevant to networks like ESPN.
ESPN might not be going the full Fox Sports route by offering gambling through an ESPN-branded app or service, but they are certainly focusing on gambling-related content and programming, and in 2020, they’ll be opening a Las Vegas studio.
#Caesars to serve as ESPN's official odds data supplier across TV & digital programming and content
New ESPN-branded studio @TheLINQ coming 2020 to serve as #Vegas hub during major sporting events for creating odd-related content, including "Daily Wager" segments pic.twitter.com/WcMdVDBzZn
— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) May 14, 2019
At Sports Business Daily, John Ourand has a few more details on ESPN’s plans:
The ESPN-branded studio will be built above The Book at LINQ Hotel & Casino. ESPN has committed to produce a still-to-be-formed weekly show from the studio that will be available via either a linear channel, ESPN+ or one of ESPN’s social media outlets. The network also plans to produce daily segments for its “Daily Wager” show, plus gambling-related content around bigger sporting events. As part of the deal, Caesars will be the official Odds Data Supplier across all ESPN platforms and ESPN will cite Caesars odds across all of its platforms. Caesars also has an undetermined number of ad commitments through the deal.
ESPN clearly wants a presence in Las Vegas, a city that’s about to have two major sports franchises in addition to being the center of the American gambling world. Whether it leads to any truly insightful content remains to be seen, but it does signal that ESPN is all-in on incorporating sports betting information going forward.