ESPN did something this year that it had not done before -- it launched a show devoted solely to sports betting. Last March, "Daily Wager" -- a one-hour weekday show hosted by Doug Kezirian, focusing on sports betting, spreads, over/unders, expert picks and analysis -- debuted on ESPNEWS.
Scott Clark, the senior coordinating producer for ESPN, revealed to ESPN Front Row in May why the company has chosen to embrace sports betting.
“We’ve approached the show with the understanding that we’re in the first inning of how we’re handling sports betting at this company," he said. "We’re trying to be proactive and be in a position to excel as it gets bigger and bigger. ... I’m very happy that we’re in early on it and on the air before the explosion as opposed to reacting to it after it gets enormous."
The popularity of "Daily Wager" soared high enough that not only are fans soon getting a Sunday edition of the series, but ESPN is moving the show to their more popular channel of ESPN2.
The ESPN Press Room published a press release on Wednesday stating that Daily Wager’s move to ESPN2 will occur Aug. 20, and the weekday version of the series will continue to air at 6 p.m. EST. ESPN Vice President Ilan Ben-Hanan revealed further details for the new Sunday edition.
"Daily Wager has caught on with our viewers and now we look forward to serving even more sports fans with the move to ESPN2," Ben-Hanan said. "The addition of a new Sunday morning edition this fall will expand the audience even more during a very busy time of the year.”
ESPN’s press release stated that the new Sunday edition of "Daily Wager" will run for 60 minutes, debuting on ESPNEWS at 9 a.m. EST Sept. 8. The series will move to ESPN2 three weeks later on Sept. 29. The weekend show will focus on the latest analytics and spreads, and analysts will discuss how the day’s news will impact sports betting.
Daily Wager’s move to ESPN2 is a big one. In April, Nielsen reported that ESPNEWS has approximately 60,490,000 subscribers, and ESPN2 saw 24.5 million more subscribers with a total around 84,517,000, Awful Announcing documented. However, ESPNEWS will add more to its sports betting coverage.
ESPN’s press release stated that on Aug. 20, viewers will see a modified screen on ESPNEWS that includes surrounding graphics with gambling data, lines, and sports betting news 24 hours a day, unless the channel is broadcasting a live event. The new screen will also appear during "Daily Wager" episodes on ESPN2, making the show even more informative for sports betting fans.