ESPN Opens Vegas Studio for Sports Betting Themed- Content

Caesars Entertainment
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.

Dana White Confirms UFC 249 is Canceled

UFC 249 CanceledThe past few weeks have been a rollercoaster for MMA fans. The status of UFC 249 has changed several times, yet it seemed as if the show was on track to take place next weekend. Unfortunately, UFC president Dana White has confirmed that UFC 249 is canceled.

Putting on a major sporting event this month was never going to be easy. Today, we’re going to look at why exactly this card has been shut down. We’ll also discuss when we may see the next UFC card take place.

Let’s get into it!

Breaking Down the Timeline to UFC 249

The UFC has always done things differently. Back in the early 2000s, the MMA promotion was on the brink of collapse and company officials needed to take drastic steps in order to avoid bankruptcy. In many ways, the UFC continues to pave its own way today.

In March, all US sports leagues announced they were shutting down. The new coronavirus had quickly begun spreading around the country and commissioners realized it would be impossible to hold any games. Only the UFC expressed a desire to get back on track.

UFC president Dana White eventually told the media that the UFC 249 event would be held on April 18th. Its location was forced to change, yet promotion seemed determined to keep the show going. Some felt the card would take place in Las Vegas, where the UFC is headquartered.

By late March, Khabib Nurmagomedov was forced out of the main event against Tony Ferguson and many analysts felt it was time to announce the event was canceled.

Officials in the UFC disagreed. Earlier this week, news broke that Justin Gaethje had stepped in to replace Khabib and an entire card was formed. Dana White revealed he’d secured a location for UFC 249 and things seemed to be moving forward.

It was one of the most unusual months in the history of mixed martial arts. The UFC was willing to go against all of the country’s health advisories in order to put on a show. Unfortunately, this entire situation has finally been put to an end.

Officials Confirm that UFC 249 is Canceled Indefinitely

Most fans were overjoyed to hear the UFC would be putting on an event this month. It brought about a sense of normalcy during these highly unusual times. Some media analysts, however, voiced their opinion that the show should not take place amid a global pandemic.

Dana White and others inside the UFC seemed to tune these opinions out. It seemed as if nothing would stop the company from going ahead with things. White even told the media he’d rented a private island to start hosting international shows.

Today, news broke that UFC 249 is canceled. According to Dana White, the heads of Disney and ESPN reached out and asked the UFC to postpone its operations. He spoke in detail about the situation to veteran MMA reporter Brett Okamoto.

“Today we got a call from the highest level you can go at Disney and the highest level of ESPN,” White said. “One thing that I’ve said since we’ve started our relationship and partnership with ESPN is that it’s been an incredible one. It’s been an amazing partnership. ESPN has been very, very good to us, and the powers that be there asked me to stand down and not do this event next Saturday.”

It’s unclear when the UFC will get back on track. If Dana White has his way, it will be before any other sports leagues do.

“We will be the first sport back,” White said. “‘Fight Island’ is real. It’s a real thing. The infrastructure’s being built right now, and that’s really going to happen and it will be on ESPN.”

Caesars and ESPN to Join Forces for Sports Betting Content

ESPN and Caesars Entertainment will join forces and bring the best sports betting news, as well as sports-related entertainment, to all fans of this activity all over the US. One of the major points in the deal is building a brand new ESPN-branded studio that will be located at The LINQ Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. There, content related to the theme of sports betting will be created and one of the features shows will be one of the popular recent ESPN sports betting-related piece called Daily Wager. Naturally, all the ESPN content made in the studio at The LINQ will also include Caesars branding.

Mike Morrison, VP of Business Development at ESPN, stated that the landscape for sports betting had changed and that the fans of that activity were coming to ESPN more than ever before. Furthermore, he added that ESPN is poised to expand their coverage “in a big way,” and that they were working with Caesars Entertainment category leaders who would help them most relevant and most entertaining content for highly engaged and diverse sports fan base. Therefore, if you like sports, and enjoy sports betting, the content produced as a result of this collaboration might be what you are after and might help you improve your sports betting skills.

The EVP and Chief Marketing Officer at Caesars Entertainment, Chris Holdren, stated that he and his company were really excited about the collaboration with ESPN and the long-term value that it will bring to both companies and sports fans alike. Furthermore, he added that starting immediately, the platforms by ESPN would begin featuring valuable information about odds and the main company that would provide those pieces of information would be Caesars Entertainment. Holdren stated that ESPN would position itself as the authority when it comes to sports betting and that millions of sports fans would look to them for content.

He concluded that they were honored have Caesars by their sides and that Caesars was honored to have been one of the primary selections by ESPN as it offered the best odds and served fans well. It is definitely a unique deal as both sides are going to have huge gains from it. ESPN will have an opportunity to have a sports studio which is located in the middle of the gambling capital of the world, and Caesars will gain enormous exposure on this popular sports channel.

The primary purpose of the studio is to be a sort of a Vegas hub for all content that is related to odds. Furthermore, it will contribute to many social, digital, and linear shows, in addition to and the exclusive ESPN app. Finally, both sides predict that the studio will have a vital role during all the major sports events, as well as during the marquee events that are hosted in LV and that are rapidly growing in number. According to both sides, the studio will be completed in 2020 and launched that very same year.

Data related to odds is very important when it comes to creating sports betting shows, and Caesars will become the official odds data supplier for all ESPN channels, including TV and digital. The two sides will create additional activations related to advertising and sponsorships in the months to come.

According to Connor Schell, EVP of Content at ESPN, Las Vegas has become an epicenter of sports culture during the last couple of years, and having a partner such as Caesars is a great way to have a full studio presence in Vegas.