ESPN’s Las Vegas studio at the LINQ Hotel and Casino opened on Monday, more than a year after the sports media conglomerate entered in to a sports betting pact with Caesars Entertainment.
The studio will serve as ESPN’s home in sin city and it will be responsible for creating sports-betting related content across ESPN’s platforms. Under the agreement, Caesars will also serve as ESPN’s official odds data supplier across TV and digital.
Said ESPN EVP of Content Connor Schell:
“The appetite for sports betting content continues to grow among fans. Our new studio will not only operate as the headquarters for that content, but it will also anchor our year-round presence in Las Vegas – a city that has become a destination for the biggest events in sports. The LINQ studio allows us to meaningfully cover the lineup of major events on the horizon with our league partners like UFC and Top Rank, the NFL regular season with the Las Vegas Raiders – beginning with the Monday Night Football home opener on Sept. 21 – the Las Vegas Bowl, the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights, NBA Summer League, and the rescheduled NFL Draft in 2022.”
State of the Art Studio
The 6,000 square foot facility includes three state of the art studios and features 12 cameras, including two exterior robotic cameras. It is the first ESPN studio to fully support 4K resolution and will be launched in Full HD. The studio will operate via ESPN’s REMI production workflow, with 24 transmit and receive paths to ESPN control rooms around the country.
The new studio will bring Vegas-exclusive sports betting and entertainment content to ESPN. The channel’s sports betting show Daily Wager will move to the LINQ studio starting September 8th. Aside from being the channel’s hotbed for sports betting-related content, it will also play a key role during major sporting events, especially in the Las Vegas area.
ESPN is also eyeing to launch a new digital show this fall. The show is a sports betting related content which will be distributed in in multiple platforms. New episodes of this still untitled show will be available three times a week on the ESPN app, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. It will also include content from Caesars.
Sports Betting Deal
ESPN’s expansion to the sports betting industry came after the legalization of sports betting across the country. Interestingly, ESPN and Caesars Entertainment announced their deal during the first year anniversary of the legalization of sports betting across the country.
In the past, Nevada had been the only state where sports betting was legal. But last year, states like Iowa, Indiana, Montana, Tennessee, and Washington D.C. joined the scene after seven states legalized it in 2018 following the Supreme Court’s decision to allow states the option to legalize sports betting.
According to the American Gaming Association, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018 has helped create a sports betting market of $8B in 2019, including a total of $3B which was wagered outside Nevada.