The Future of Sports Television, Gambling, and Prop Bets

ipadYesterday I was browsing around sports talk radio when I came upon Darren Rovell who’s the business analyst for ESPN that casually mentioned a very intriguing idea.

He said that we need to have a live twitter game feed that you can move in a window to the side of the screen while you can scroll for content. Periscope uses a similar feature to this where you can “go live” and respond to questions in real time, but you get bombarded with trolls and dumb questions and lame crap. Having a live game feed where you could simultaneously browse what you wanted while watching the game would be an awesome tool to have going when there’s something big/newsworthy happening (think no-hitter, tie game few seconds left, amazing plays, etc.). As soon as technology is able to withstand that kinda of bandwidth use, we’ll start to see more streaming content on demand showing up on our social media. What Rovell mentioned that was so intriguing to me was the ability to charge for that viewing privilege. That is brilliant- charge a buck a game or whatever and that league will have a WINDFALL of cash. Everybody wins. People get cheap sports on demand, leagues get more money, advertisers get more eyeballs, twitter gets more hashtags. The best part, from a consumers perspective, is that I’m not shelling out $130-150 for the MLB network when I’d probably only actually want to pay for about 60 games because of my schedule. I’d never thought about charging on a per-game basis, but I love that Idea, and you could work some massive business deals for exclusive streaming rights with the different leagues.

I’m just spitballin** here, and I’ve already blogged about my solution for fixing the MLB, but hear me out on this. Legal Sports Gambling is coming. I don’t know how long it will take, but it will get here eventually. My guess is that it will be heavily regulated, but I’d expect it should arrive within the next 10 years. There’s just too much at stake for it not to become commonplace. Once legalized gambling is given the green light, the technology should be able to handle “live-betting” which will be the next wave of gambling degenerates. For those who don’t know, you can bet on much more than just the spread or the outcome of the game, because you’ll be able to bet on more things as they occur in real time. Once this type of betting hits the mainstream it’s going to catch on faster than a Yellowstone fire in the summer of ’88.

Currently, we have a battle going on between FanDuel, Draft Kings, and the US Court system to see what happens as we move forward into the era of daily fantasy sports and legalized sports gambling. These sites have discovered and exposed a goldmine of suckers (like me) that are just waiting to be exploited for capital gain. Daily Fantasy sites have built themselves into a BILLION dollar business in about 2 years by exploiting a loophole that essential allows gambling. I’m a strong believer that ‘where there is a market, there is a business’, and business always finds a way. Legal sports gambling is coming, people, and it can’t get here soon enough.

Just imagine the ability to bet on stuff like this in real time:

  • Will the next play be a “run” or a “pass”?
  • What will be the result of this batter “hit” “walk” “strikeout”?
  • Will Steph Curry score more or less than 15 in the first half?
  • Over under 40 points scored in the first quarter by both teams.
  • Who will score the first basket in this game?
  • What will the result of the coin toss be?
  • Over under total gametime of 3 hours 20 minutes.
  • and on, and on, and on.

The best part about the Superbowl is watching for your prop bets. Now picture the ability to have prop bets going for every game you watch and how much fun that would be.

**When I read “spitballin” to myself, this scene from First Kid popped in my head. Just an awesome visual and flawless execution from Sinbad.


PPS- If you enjoyed this blog, you may like this one where I discuss the future of technology and my thoughts on 10 years from now.






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