Regulated sports betting in the United States continued its march towards credibility this week as NBC Sports announced the formation of a new division that will focus solely on gambling content. It’s the first big announcement like this from a major American television network, though it’s likely not the last.
NBC Sports Next is the name of the new division, which is divided into three units – Youth & Recreational Sports, Golf, and Betting, Gaming & Emerging Media. On the sports betting side, NBC Sports Next will bring together three existing NBC Sports groups including NBC Sports EDGE, formerly known as Rotoworld, as well as NBC Sports Predictor and NBC Sports Audio to focus on wagering.
In a statement to the press, Jody Vogelaar, chief customer officer commented on NBC Sports’ commitment to this new arena of American sports reporting saying, “We are proud to be a leader in providing the most immersive and engaging sports experiences. We were driven to create a name that reflects our ability to go wherever sports and technology evolve. With this brand transformation and unique position within the media industry, NBC Sports Next’s portfolio of mobile and digital applications in the sports and entertainment space provides unparalleled experiences for our partners, advertisers, customers, athletes and fans.”
NBC’s big challenge, and the challenge facing all US sports media, is keeping a lid on sports betting content so that it doesn’t dominate broadcasts or merge too much with sports betting advertisements. When that situation occurred in Australia, it led to significant regulatory burdens for operators.