ESPN launches betting-oriented NBA broadcast

US sports media network ESPN will today launch its first betting-focused broadcast covering the National Basketball Association (NBA).

The Daily Wager Special will see commentators from ESPN’s sports betting news programme Daily Wager provide predictions, tips and analysis, including Joe Fortenbaugh, Tyler Fulghum, and Doug Kezirian, as well as ESPN NBA analyst Kendrick Perkins.

Beginning with a 15 minute pre-game show, discussions will revolve around live and future odds, updates on other games being played throughout the match, as well as analysis of playoff and awards odds.

An exploration of graded bets and a second half betting preview will also take place during the halftime show.

The programme, which will cover the clash between the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers, will be broadcast on ESPN+ and ESPN2.

As the sports betting sector continues to grow across the US, more and more sports leagues are beginning to take note of the potential financial benefits of this burgeoning market, with regards to both sponsorship and broadcasting.

The NBA launched its ‘NBA BetStreams’ product in December 2020, made available to its League Pass and NBA TV subscribers in the US, whilst also enabling its league partners such as Bleacher Report, Action Network and Yahoo Sports to conduct gambling-oriented broadcasts, displaying odds throughout.

In addition to ESPN, NBC Sports has also embraced sports betting as a means of enhancing its basketball coverage in the past, providing in-play betting features during a Washington Wizards fixture in January 2019.

Outside of basketball, the PGA Tour golf tournament incorporated a gambling element into its partnership with NBC’s Peacock streaming service in January.

The second screen betting broadcasting product made its debut during the Waste Management Phoenix Open in Scottsdale, Arizona, between 4-7 February, with Australia-based operator PointsBet playing a central role as the official betting partner of NBC.