“The Worldwide Leader in Sports” just placed a big wager on the long-term future of sports betting in the United States.
ESPN sent out a press release today which announced that the network will launch Daily Wager, a new show that will provide daily sports betting news and information to sports fans. The one-hour program is scheduled to begin on Monday, March 11 and will air weekdays on ESPNEWS at 6:00 p.m. ET and will be available via live stream on the ESPN app.
ESPN Executive Vice President Norby Williamson said the show will embrace the new sports betting environment in the United States, and the network will continue to explore the sports gambling market in various forms.
“ESPN’s mission is to serve sports fans,” said Williamson. “The sports betting environment has changed and interest is increasing at unprecedented levels. ESPN is going to have a strong and vibrant presence across our platforms, and the launch of Daily Wager is the next step in what has already been underway for some time.”
The show will be hosted by ESPN sports betting analyst Doug Kezirian, who has over 15 years of sports betting experience and hosts the networks’ podcast Behind the Bets.
Kezirian will be joined daily by various ESPN sports analyst and reporters, and the discussion will be focused on the analytics of sports betting — primarily relating to the point spread and the money line — as well as how the latest sports headlines can affect betting trends.
Along with ESPN’s full staff of analyst and reporters, daily contributors to the show — which will be air from the network’s main studio in Bristol, Connecticut — will be:
- “Stanford” Steve Coughlin: The co-host of “Bad Beats” on SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt, the co-host of Stanford Steve and The Bear podcast and ESPN.com columnist.
- Chris “The Bear” Fallica: The co-host of Stanford Steve and The Bear podcast and ESPN.com columnist.
- David Purdum: An ESPN.com gambling industry reporter.
- Anita Marks: The host for ESPN Radio New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Fantasy Football analyst.
- Preston Johnson: A Las Vegas-based handicapper aka the “Sports Cheetah.”
- Joe Fortenbaugh: The co-founder of NationalFootballPost.com and is the morning sports talk radio show host on “95.7 The Game” in San Francisco.
All box scores, news, and information traditionally found on ESPN shows will be modified with sports betting graphics that includes odds and betting lines.
Kezirian along with the sports betting experts will be allowed to make picks during the program based on their professional opinion coupled with the insight from ESPN’s reporters and analysts. ESPN’s reporters and analysts will no be allowed to make picks.
ESPN has already dipped its toe into the sports gambling market with the ESPN+ exclusive show I’ll Take That Bet, which began streaming in 2018.
In addition, the network also produces the Behind the Bets podcast with Doug Kezirian, the Stanford Steve and The Bear podcast, the “Bad Beats” segment on SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt, and has provided Las Vegas point spreads, money lines, and over/under on totals inside game box scores regularly on ESPN.com.
The decision by ESPN to jump into the sports gambling information market comes in response to the legalization of state-licensed sports betting across the United States after the Supreme Court overturned PASPA — the federal law that had prohibited states (excluding Nevada) from crafting sports betting legislation — in May 2018.