Is VSiN A Sports Betting Model For Mainstream Media Companies?

Written By Marc Meltzer on April 25, 2018
VSiN Brent Musburger

Yes and no.

It’s not shocking to say that gambling has slowly been creeping into mainstream media over the past few years. Gone are the days of Uncle Brent Musburger sliding in a vague reference during a game that only gamblers would know. ESPN is owned by gambling haters Disney but they have a sports betting news section on their website called Chalk and allow Scott Van Pelt ample time on TV to speak directly about gambling.

Sports gambling talk is still gaining steam for mainstream America and we can once again thank Uncle Brent for helping bring gambling to the masses.

Every source contacted for this story pointed to Brent Musburger’s recently launched Vegas Stats and Information Network as an example of what the future could look like if gambling becomes more permissive — a niche digital platform focused on betting lines.

“This story” is “Media ready for pivot to digital platforms, real-time sports betting” and is more of a look at the pivot to gambling platforms than pivoting to gambling content. I’m not sure why any media would refer to any changes specifically as a “pivot.” The pivot to video was a nightmare. Maybe they’re trying to set up a move to sports betting as a debacle as well.

As a radio station, VSiN does a good job of creating useful sports betting content with the use of a diverse staff and guests that include sportsbook employees, gamblers and traditional media willing to use their information for gambling.

VSiN might be a good example for mainstream media companies on how to create useful audio and video sports betting content. However, this is really just the beginning. Platforms are the future for sports betting in mainstream media.

  • Facebook paid $35 million to stream one baseball game per week for the season.
  • BR Live offers live sports and written content on one screen.
  • 75% of gambling will someday occur on digital and mobile devices according to Zach Leonsis.
  • Sports entertainment and gambling is all about the second screen.

Like everything in media, the future of sports betting will most certainly mobile. The massive HDTV in your living room might still be the place to watch the games but it’s only a part of the experience. There’s almost always mobile devices on hand. We need more devices dedicated to social media, live streaming, watching and listening to other media, and of course gambling.

Creating non-game sports betting content like VSiN offers is great but it’s only part of the gambling entertainment proposition. Watching the games is still an integral part of the betting on sports. Being able to watch on a social hub like Facebook or Twitter while chatting with others about the game is great. Now, add a tab to the browser that’s open to a sportsbook for live betting and we have some serious action.

Zach Leonsis from Monumental Sports Network expects that national sports betting will be 75% mobile. Nevada is already seeing the transition of sports betting from brick and mortar to mobile. Several sportsbook operators are taking about half of their wagers via mobile and that’s growing every year. Looking forward, combine sports wagering apps with streaming services and content providers like BR Live. This might create the perfect combination of live sports, sports betting, and sports betting news.

We should see the technology catch up to demands once sports betting is legalized around the country. It’s going to take a little time but it’s coming.

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Marc Meltzer

Marc Meltzer grew up on the mean streets of the South Bronx. He's the rare combination of Yankees and Jets fan which explains his often contrarian point of view. Marc is a freelance writer and social media consultant. Writing about steak, booze, gambling and Las Vegas is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

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