A few months after sports betting began to break into the mainstream, ESPN is finally adding a gambling show to their daily television lineup. Titled Daily Wager, the hour-long show will debut on March 11 at 6 PM, airing on ESPNEWS.
According to Sports Business Daily’s John Ourand, the show will be a “news and information show,” discussing the odds and money lines associated with gambling. Daily Wager will be different from other gambling shows, like FS1’s Lock It In and ESPN+’s I’ll Take That Bet, because while their sports wagering experts will be making picks on Daily Wager, ESPN reporters and analysts who will appear to provide information will not actually be making any picks.
Here’s how ESPN EVP Norby Williamson described the show.
“This is not a backroom, roll-up-your-sleeves, insider gambling show — our goal is to serve people that watch sports who may or may not gamble on games,” Williamson said.
Doug Kezirian, who hosts ESPN’s Behind the Bets podcast, will host Daily Wager. A number of other ESPN personalities will also be featured, including College GameDay’s Chris “The Bear” Fallica, “Stanford” Steve Coughlin from Scott Van Pelt’s SportsCenter, ESPN gambling writer David Purdum, Joe Fortenbaugh, Preston Johnson, and Anita Marks.
ESPN’s venture into gambling related content has been gradual. A pair of podcasts, Behind the Bets and Stanford Steve and The Bear, are produced by the company, while one of the most popular segments on Scott Van Pelt’s SportsCenter is Bad Beats. They also have the aforementioned I’ll Take That Bet show on ESPN+, which features talent from the Action Network. Daily Wager marks ESPN’s first major step into gambling-related programming, but given the sheer amount of non-live weekday programming on ESPNEWS, will it actually make an impact on the network’s coverage going forward?