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Sportsbooks Tripled Radio Ad Spending In 2021

“Online sports betting is projected to invest $125 million on over the air radio in 2022, per BIA.”

Will Dundon

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In the first nine months of 2021 online betting brands virtually tripled their ad spending to $30 million as competing sportsbooks opened their wallets to attract new customers and hold onto existing ones. That’s up from $10.9 million spent in the first nine months of 2020, according to data compiled by Kantar.  

Online gambling brands like FanDuel, DraftKings, Bet MGM and others remained cautious for the fourth quarter to correspond with the NFL season. In fact, online betting brands spent another roughly $9 million during fourth quarter 2020. The spend in 2020 in total was approximately four times what the category spent in 2019.

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The Kantar radio numbers are estimates when compared to numbers from BIA Advisory Services. Online sports betting is projected to invest $125 million on over-the-air radio in 2022, per BIA.

The major reason for this trend is that sports betting is being legalized in more states over time.  This past weekend, New York decided to be the 19th state, along with the District of Columbia, where online gambling is live and legal.  New York City, radio’s largest market, can now join many others in the arena of sportsbook advertising by specifically targeting New York residents.  That’s in addition to money already being expended by online gambling brands on New York City stations targeting residents in the neighboring states of New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, where it was already legal.

NYC isn’t the only market gaining here either. Broadcasters along the New York State Thruway circuit of Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany should also thrive.

“One of radio’s most significant growth categories in 2021, sportsbook advertising, will continue in 2022 as more states legalize online gambling,” Christine Travaglini, President of rep firm Katz Radio Group, recently told Inside Radio for their Radio Forecast 2022 series.  “Big brands understand that they need advertising to attract new customers and hold onto existing customers in a very competitive space. Their initial goals focus on getting consumers to download their app, which is currently how they determine their ROI.”

However, there is another major chunk of advertising space for sports betting. According to Kantar, $329.3 million was spent on online betting advertising during the first nine months of 2021, up from $182.7 million in the 2020 cycle.

Sports Radio News

Jonathan Zaslow No Longer With WQAM

An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

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WQAM midday host Jonathan Zaslow is no longer with WQAM in Miami, according to sources.

The radio station has removed his shell from the website and references to him and his normal 10a-2p ET midday timeslot program have been scrubbed from the station website. An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now. He was tweeting during his show’s scheduled time, with this being his most recent one which also referenced the show which appeared to still be on the air at the time.

Zaslow had been with 790 the Ticket since 2004. He was transitioned from Audacy-owned 790 to sister station AM 560 Sports WQAM last October. Since being with that group, he has worked with Joy Taylor, Amber Wilson, Brett Romberg, Brendan Tobin amongst others.

WQAM has gone thru a number of changes, including a rebranding effort to call the station “560 The Joe”. That ended last year with the station returning to the AM 560 Sports WQAM brand listeners were more familiar with.

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Sports Radio News

Vanessa Richardson Named Houston Rockets Sideline Reporter, Paul Gallant to Host Solo on ESPN 97.5

Vanessa Richardson will be on the sidelines for the Houston Rockets and Paul Gallant will host solo show on ESPN 97.5.

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Vanessa and Gallant

Changes are taking place in Houston sports media. First, the Houston Rockets will have a new television sideline reporter this season, and she’s a familiar name to Houston sports fans.

Vanessa Richardson, the now former co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, revealed that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

She tweeted the news saying, “Elated to be the new Houston Rockets sideline reporter! I can’t wait to travel the country & share the stories of this dynamic team during 80+ games on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. I’ll continue to fill-in as a host/reporter for Astros broadcasts as well.”

Richardson’s co-host, Paul Gallant, tweeted that with Richardson leaving the show for the Rockets sideline gig, Vanessa and Gallant will become the Paul Gallant Show. The solo show led by Gallant begins Monday September 26th.

“We’re excited to have Paul host his own show”, said Todd Farquharson, General Manager of ESPN 97.5 & 92.5.  “He’s super creative, energetic, and likeable.  He’ll get the audience involved and have fun.”

Paul commented, “You know what I’ve always loved about sports talk radio?  That it’s interactive.  Whether through a phone call, text message, tweet or on Twitch, it’s the best place for sports fans to come together and celebrate…or vent.  And that’s what The Paul Gallant Show is going to be…Houston’s platform to talk about its teams. THE most interactive sports talk show in Houston.”

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Sports Radio News

Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

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The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman applauded Al Michaels for his performance during the presentation.

“Al Michaels feels untethered for the first time. He’s not network television anymore and he can say whatever he wants. We interviewed him on the pregame show and I was nervous,” Carman said.

“He’s a legend,” co-host Anthony Lima added.

During the final play of the game, the Steelers fumbled a lateral into the endzone which the Browns recovered to make the final score 29-17. Michaels said “that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean”, alluding to people who had placed wagers on the game.

Carman, who hosts two-hours of pre-game coverage on the Browns Radio Network, continued to discuss how nervous he was interviewing Michaels. He also discussed how impressive Amazon’s behind-the-scenes production was, pointing out the only football broadcast with more cameras is the Super Bowl. More than 400 people work behind the scenes for Amazon Prime Video.

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

Carman later said people angry that Michaels misspoke by saying the Pro Football Hall of Fame is “down I-71” instead of I-77 were unreasonable, and joked “Al Michaels hasn’t been on a highway in 20 years”.

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