ESPN is launching a one-hour, weekday television show dedicated to sports betting news and information.
Daily Wager premieres March 11 and will air Monday through Friday at 6 p.m. on ESPNEWS. It will also be available via ESPN’s mobile app. The show will originate from ESPN’s studios in Bristol, Conn.
The focus of Daily Wager will be sports betting news, point spreads and over/unders for various games, along with expert picks and advice. But analysts and reporters on the show will only provide insight and information and not be responsible for picking games with spreads, ESPN said in a statement.
ESPN sports betting analyst Doug Kezirian will host Daily Wager. The veteran reporter has covered the industry for 15 years and hosts the ESPN-produced podcast Behind the Bets. Several notable names on ESPN programming will join Kezirian on Daily Wager including Chris "The Bear" Fallica and Steve Coughlin.
Fallica is regularly seen on College GameDay each Saturday morning during college football, offering analysis and picks against the spread for assorted games. Coughlin co-hosts the Bad Beats segment on SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt; the two showcase moments in games that greatly impacted bettors.
David Purdum, Preston Johnson, Anita Marks and Joe Fortenbaugh will also have roles on Daily Wager. Purdum has been an ESPN.com gambling industry reporter for over seven years; Johnson is a Las Vegas-based handicapper with a Master of Science in Sports Psychology; Marks is an ESPN fantasy football analyst and Fortenbaugh host The Sharp 600, a podcast dedicated to sports betting.
ESPN has gradually increased its coverage of sports betting since May, when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. In addition to Kezirian’s podcast, Coughlin and Fallica co-host a podcast covering wagering on college football and horse racing, and there is more sports gaming-related news on ESPN.com.
Before the Supreme Court’s ruling, legalized sports betting was only permissible in Nevada and largely a taboo subject to cover in-depth on television. But in the months since the decision was announced, sports gaming is flourishing throughout the country.
Operational sportsbooks are now open in Delaware, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. Corresponding with that boom, and wanting to appeal to audience demand, mainstream media has increased its coverage of the sports betting industry.
"ESPN’s mission is to serve sports fans," said Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president and executive editor, studio production. "The sports betting environment has changed and interest is increasing at unprecedented levels. ESPN is going to have a strong and vibrant presence across our platforms, and the launch of Daily Wager is the next step in what has already been underway for some time."