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NBC Sports Washington Covers Wizards For Gamblers

“Damon Phillips, NBC Sports Washington’s general manager, said that the broadcast isn’t meant for big money gamblers. It is more of a chance for casual players to be introduced to sports betting.”

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NBC Sports Washington is giving Wizards fans a sports betting focused second screen on Friday night. The network will air its traditional coverage of the Wizards and the Milwaukee Bucks. It’s alternate channel, NBC Sports Washington Plus will air a version that offers real time gambling information and a Predict the Game contest, that could pay viewers up to $500.

The “Predict the Game” contest, which was first reported by Sports Business Journal, will feature approximately 30 questions — such as, “Will Trevor Ariza score 10-plus points in the first half?” or “Will the Wizards score at least 20 points in the second quarter?” — that appear on the screen throughout the game. Fans will be invited to submit their predictions on NBC Sports Washington’s site. The winner, or winners, based on the number of correct answers, will be announced during the network’s postgame coverage.

Scott Allen and Ben Strauss, The Washington Post

Zach Leonsis, Monumental Sports and Entertainment’s senior VP of strategic initiatives, says that the contest itself isn’t exactly gambling, but it is a first step in that direction. “It’s really meant to drive fan engagement, see how people react to it, and I think it’s a great first step toward a much larger and really exciting rollout of sports betting in the DMV.”

Damon Phillips, NBC Sports Washington’s general manager, said that the broadcast isn’t meant for big money gamblers. It is more of a chance for casual players to be introduced to sports betting.

Eight Wizards gams are scheduled to receive the sports gambling second screen treatment this season. Leonsis says that he could foresee this being something done for every Wizards and Capitals game in the future, but only as a second screen option. There are no plans to change the teams’ traditional broadcasts.

Sports TV News

FOX Will Use Chris Fallica On Belmont Stakes Coverage

“While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.”

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The Bear will be more than just a college football presence when he moves to FOX. Chris Fallica wrapped his final duties for ESPN last week and is now headed to a new network and will tackle some new responsibilities.

Fallica’s new role at FOX will involve plenty of sports gambling content. Richard Deitsch of The Athletic reports that content will include horse racing.

“One Fox Sports source said look for him to appear on the Belmont Stakes coverage,” Deitsch wrote in his weekly media column.

Starting in 2023, horse racing’s Triple Crown will not be seen all in one place. While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.

How the network intends to use Chris Fallica on the broadcast is not clear. Given that he is coming to the network to contribute to gambling conversations, it is likely he would either be making picks or at least reviewing odds right up to the start of the race.

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Sports TV News

NBCUniversal CEO Expects Disney To Buy Company’s Hulu Stake

“Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal.”

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The Walt Disney Company owns 67% of Hulu. The other 33% is owned by NBCUniversal. The latter company doesn’t expect that to be the case forever.

“It’s worth a lot of money,” NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said at an investor conference earlier this week, “and I think there’s no indication that anything else is going to happen than Disney writing us a big check.”

Hulu is primarily a platform for movies and television shows. It is a major part of Disney’s deal with the NHL though. The streaming giant is part of the package of 103 games that are exclusive to ESPN and ABC. Hulu is also a live TV provider for many. The company’s Hulu Plus Live TV package had over 4 million subscribers as of the summer of 2022.

Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal. He credits sports and content migrated from Hulu as the reason Peacock has grown to 18 million paid subscriptions since September.

Deadline reports that if Disney does want to acquire NBCUniversal’s stake in Hulu, “the price could fluctuate but will be in the tens of billions of dollars.”

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Sports TV News

Greg Olsen Believes He and Kevin Burkhardt Can Handle Games ‘On Any Stage’

“Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

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Greg Olsen

Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen are on tap to call Super Bowl LVII in February, and Olsen told Front Office Sports he has the confidence to announce the game with no hesitations.

“If you’re asking me, I think Kevin and I have shown that we can handle a game on any stage – on any day. We just did it on Thanksgiving. We’ll do it again around Christmas. And obviously throughout the [NFL] Playoffs,” said Olsen. “So whatever decision they make. Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

“But as of now, I anticipate Kevin and I, the two of us, with Erin and Tom down on the sidelines, the four of us, broadcasting the Super Bowl in February in Arizona. Until I’m told otherwise, that’s how we’re proceeding.”

Olsen also told FOS he has negotiated a new contract with FOX Sports, but declined to share details. He is slated to be replaced on the top broadcast crew once Tom Brady ends his playing career. Brady will then begin a 10-year, $375 million contract to serve as the network’s top NFL game analyst and brand ambassador.

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