- PointsBet and NBC Sports will debut betting integrations into Sunday night NFL football programming this weekend as the Chicago Bears play the Los Angeles Rams.
- Betting data and information will be integrated into the Football Night in America studio show and the new Peacock Sunday Night Football Final postgame show.
- PointsBet and NBC Sports announced a multi-year partnership in August 2020.
The mainstream and sports media industries in North America are completely in love with sports betting content and this trend shows little sign of slowing down. So far, the new players to enter the arena offer content of varying quality with most ranging from mediocre to downright awful. There are exceptions but they are few and far between. Until further notice, there’s just not anyone that can touch the job that VSIN does with their multi-channel programming.
That won’t stop the rest of the media from trying, however, and this includes the biggest names in the business. On Sunday night, NBC Sports and their sportsbook partner PointsBet will debut the integration of betting data and information into the network’s prime time NFL programming. The NFL Sunday Night schedule begins with a potentially entertaining matchup between the Los Angeles Rams and Chicago Bears from SoFi Stadium. While you’re not going to see in-game betting integration–at least not for now–there will be plenty of it in the Football Night in America studio show and the new Peacock Sunday Night Football Final postgame show.
From a symbolic standpoint, this is a huge step for sports betting in the United States. The last time there was anything approximating betting content on an officially sanction NFL football broadcast was back in the day with Jimmy ‘The Greek’ Snyder. Even then, they were careful not to talk about betting odds explicitly:
Hopefully, the quality of the content will be decent but that remains to be seen. Here’s some additional details about the NBC Sports/PointsBet integration from the press release announcing it:
Viewers of Football Night in America will have the opportunity to watch a new weekly odds segment featuring expert analysis from NFL all-time great and recently announced PointsBet Global Ambassador, Drew Brees. The feature will highlight NFL betting markets of the day and what to look for in Sunday Night Football, a first of its kind on the most-watched studio show in sports.
PointsBet will also integrate betting content into the new Peacock Sunday Night Football Final postgame show, following every Sunday Night Football broadcast. The odds integration will highlight future NFL betting markets. PointsBet’s Head Oddsmaker Jay Croucher and Senior Editor Teddy Greenstein will make regular guest appearances.
In addition to the Sunday night integrations, NBC Sports EDGE, part of the NBC Sports Next portfolio and one of the internet’s highest-trafficked fantasy sports and gaming websites, will provide more football content this season than ever before across Peacock and NBC Sports Digital platforms as well as through its partnership with PointsBet. NBC Sports EDGE’s shows include Bet the Edge: Blitzing the Board, which features regular guest appearances from PointsBet’s Greenstein and Croucher, and streams on Peacock’s NBC Sports channel on Fridays at 7 p.m. ET and Sundays at noon ET, starting tonight.
The NFL is still a bit squeamish about their association with sports betting–they’ll gladly take the money but they’re going to continue to keep sports betting an ‘arms distance’ away. You won’t be seeing any betting related content during the game itself. You’ll have to head over to VSIN for that–they’re doing a show covering the live NFL action called ‘The Green Zone’ which will feature the very sharp Wes Reynolds along with Dave Ross–and really, anything they do pre and postgame will be of higher quality than the NFL’s offerings. Glad to see they’re giving Wes Reynolds such a high profile spot–I’ve worked with him on the radio on a number of occasions and he’s excellent. Here’s the full rundown of Sunday’s VSIN schedule (all times Eastern):
PointsBet will also be running an ad spot during the betting related programming–but only ‘in markets where PointsBet is active’. This is stupid and illustrates the NFL’s duplicity regarding sports betting. How about letting the ad run nationally and treating the audience like adults? PointsBet is no doubt paying some serious coin to be one of the NFL’s ‘approved sportsbooks’ and the league should let them build their brand nationally. Here’s the new PointsBet ad spot:
PointsBet USA CEO Johnny Aitken is aware of the historic significance of the new integration with the NBC Sports NFL content:
“Our NBC Sports NFL broadcast odds integrations represent a historic and groundbreaking moment for sports betting and PointsBet. As we enter the second year of partnership with NBCUniversal, we are taking a major step to innovate and integrate our service within their platforms. We know viewers who are sports bettors are more engaged with the game throughout the broadcast, and PointsBet offers more opportunities for players to stay involved. We are just getting started, and we are excited to do it together with premium partners.”
Nicolina O’Rorke, SVP, NBC Sports Next and GM, Sports Betting & Gaming, was less expansive than Aitken:
“We look forward to continuing to work with our partners at PointsBet to further engage viewers of our live NFL game and studio content.”
PointsBet has turned into a seriously smoking outfit during the past year or so. They were smart enough to open an office in the new US epicenter of sports betting–Denver, Colorado–and are now live in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, and West Virginia.