NBC Sports Philadelphia, one of the peacock network’s eight regional sports networks (RSNs), brought back a sports betting-focused broadcast for 76ers games airing on its streaming service.
NBC Sports BetCast relaunched on Wednesday for the Sixers’ game against the New York Knicks, which Philadelphia won 109-104. NBC Sports Philadelphia+, the RSN’s streaming platform, tested the idea during the late stages of the 2018-19 NBA regular season and sporadically during the 76ers playoff run. A criticism of last season’s pilot program was that NBC Sports BetCast did not feature enough on-screen data and statistics, something the network believes it improved this time around.
New, enhanced on-screen graphics focused on real time sports betting data will be integrated in the program, complementing the hosts’ commentary and analysis,” according to the network.
The streaming broadcast is hosted by Marc Farzetta, Brad Feinbering, a sports wagering analyst on NBC Sports Philadelphia; and local radio host Anthony Gargano.
“During the game, Farzetta, Feinberg and Gargano will focus on the betting odds, and how the flow of the game impacts those lines,” said NBC Sports.
Maybe A Moneymaker
Though NBC Sports BetCast remains in its formative stages, it could eventually be a revenue generator for the network.
As Casino.org reported in October, David Preschlack, president of NBC Sports Regional Networks, said three of the broadcaster’s RSNs – Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. – are starting to realize a “material” impact from advertisements tied to sports betting.
Preschlack added the Chicago RSN was starting to see an uptick in sports wagering ad content following Iowa’s legalization of sports betting. He noted that William Hill US, DraftKings, and FanDuel have been among the advertisers on NBC RSNs’ NBA and NHL programming.
NBC, a unit of cable behemoth Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ:CMCSA), operates RSNs covering California, the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, and the Pacific Northwest in addition to Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
Philadelphia is a sensible market for a company to float an idea such as NBC Sports BetCast because not only is it one of the largest media markets in the country, the city’s fans are notoriously passionate. Additionally, the popularity of the City of Brotherly Love’s teams and their broadcasts reaches into densely populated New Jersey, potentially providing some geographic benefit.
Speaking of geography, supporters of Philadelphia athletic teams can be found throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, notably in Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania – three states where sports betting is legal.
New Jersey’s sports betting handle jumped to a record of nearly $488 million last month while Pennsylvania’s soared 24 percent to $241.2 million, also an all-time high.
NBC Sports Philadelphia+ will feature nine more betting broadcasts this season this season with the next scheduled for Dec. 2 when the 76ers play the Utah Jazz.
The other eight broadcasts feature just two matchups against teams that could be considered rivals to the Sixers – the Knicks on Feb. 28 and the Toronto Raptors on March 18. Eastern Conference foes, such as the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks, as well as the Los Angeles Clippers and Lakers, two of the most popular teams in the NBA, aren’t scheduled to appear on NBC Sports Philadelphia+ this season.