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Washington Wizards to Unveil Bettor-Friendly Broadcasts

AP Photo/John Locher

The growth and spread of legalized sports betting in the United States continues to pick up steam. Sportsbooks are popping up left and right. And more and more states are positioning themselves for a seat at the dinner table. What is also taking place is a push to offer a more technologically advanced product. Getting in your car, driving to your local sportsbook, parking, hitting up the ATM, waiting in line to place a bet, placing said bet, and returning at a later time to cash a ticket should it win is not exactly “user friendly.” Bettors want to make wagers on the fly using their phones or computers; something sportsbook operators want as well. Another desire for both sides is the ability to bet “in-game”; a model that is wildly popular overseas. It was recently announced that NBC Sports Washington Plus will begin testing the waters with a handful of “interactive, live-betting friendly” broadcasts of upcoming Washington Wizards games. It’s expected to feature a slew of betting-type statistics throughout the game. It doesn’t however sound as if it’s going to be something more serious bettors will be able to take advantage of. In fact, the president of NBC Sports’ Regional Networks went so far as to use the dreaded term “casual bettor.” Nevertheless, broadcasting sporting events using a sports betting theme is a very exciting concept and one that down the road could be the industry standard.

“We wanted to give fans a little taste of what they can expect and maybe explain to them what predictive gaming is,” said Mark Friedman, director of creative services and advanced technology, NBC Sports Washington. “We want to let them know that it’s not this scary thing with a stigma associated with it. It’s fun. You can put $5 on a game and add a little bit of interest.”