Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s May 2018 decision to strike down PASPA (after years of pressure) and pave the way for expanded legalized sports betting, countless sports media companies have dived into gambling in a big way, from accepting gambling-focused ads to creating all sorts of gambling–focused content.The latest to take the latter approach is radio giant Entercom. As per John Ourand of Sports Business Journal, Entercom is looking to do this with two sports-gambling focused networks at the start, with certain portions of their content also syndicated on other Entercom sports stations:
Entercom will launch a sports gambling-focused network called BetQL Audio Network, relaunching Denver’s KEZW-AM as The Bet 1430AM and planning a launch in L.A. via 93.1 HD3 (currently KCBS-FM). Entercom will build the network around two daily shows: “You Better You Bet” with Nick Kostos and Ken Barkley, and “BetQL Daily” with Joe Ostrowski and Ross Tucker. Entercom says the Kostos-Barkley show logged 670,000 monthly downloads since the start of the ’20 NFL season. All BetQL programming also will be available via Radio.com. Some programming will be featured on Entercom’s other 39 sports stations, like N.Y.’s WFAN, Chicago’s WSCR-AM and Philadelphia’s WIP-FM.
It’s interesting to see Entercom doing this with full stations rather than just certain shows (an area they’ve already explored). And it may be interesting to see just how these stations perform in the ratings versus the already-established conventional sports stations in those markets; those haven’t exactly avoided gambling, but they haven’t necessarily dove into it the way this new approach looks to. It will be worth keeping an eye on the reception for this plan, and for the reception of these shows when they’re featured in other Entercom markets. If this goes well, it may be yet another step towards more extensive gambling content in sports media, but if the ratings don’t turn out to be great relative to conventional sports programming, that might slow that roll a little.