The ongoing experimentation of merging play-by-play TV sports broadcasts with running commentary that focuses on wagering aspects of that game takes another step tonight, March 7, in the Philadelphia and Chicago viewing markets.
NBC Sports Chicago and NBC Sports Philadelphia are partnering with online bookmaker PointsBet to present “BetCast”. BetCast is an alternate live game coverage that merges traditional sports play-by-play with a sports-betting experience.
Viewers in the Philadelphia and Chicago markets will find the hybrid version of the Bulls v 76ers game on NBC Sports Chicago Plus and on NBC Sports Philadelphia Plus – both are cable TV channels — respectively at 7 p.m. ET in Philly/6 p.m. CT in Chicago.
According to NBC Sports: “BetCast will deliver on-screen live odds data powered by PointsBet – including Spread, Over/Under and moving Money Lines – along with futures odds and player props. The real-time data will appear on an enhanced graphic overlay surrounding the regular live-game coverage.”
PointsBet Live Same Game Parlay
Viewers can select PointsBet’s “Live Same Game Parlay” options to place wagers as they track odds and statistics in real time.
The on-air talent being used for the telecast is indicative of the importance being placed on both the basketball and the betting aspects of the game. Utilizing analysts from both markets, the announcing team will include NBC Sports EDGE host Sara Perlman; NBC Sports Philadelphia’s 76ers analyst and former NBA coach Jim Lynam; NBC Sports Chicago’s Bulls analyst Kendall Gill and Jay Croucher, the head oddsmaker at PointsBet.
This is not the first time that a play-by-play broadcast combined with gambling analysis has been tried in the United States since the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018 opening the floodgates for broader sports wagering in America.
NBC Sports First Dual-Market Sports Betting Telecast
NBC Sports has tried out the approach with Washington Wizards games during the 2018-19 and 2019-20 regular seasons. They focused on select Sixers games beginning in April 2019, and earlier this season in Chicago. However, the Bulls-Sixers game is NBC Sports’ first dual-market sports betting telecast as experimentation with the approach continues.
Prior to the game, fans can warm up for the special telecast by watching “Bet the EDGE GameTime”. This is a lead-in program on NBC Sports Philadelphia Plus (6-7 p.m. ET) and on NBC Sports Chicago Plus (5-6 p.m. CT). Matt Bernier and Drew Dinsick will host.
As an added attraction, the NBC Sports Predictor app powered by PointsBet, will offer a “Pick n’ Roll” contest for the game with a guaranteed $50,000 jackpot.
The regular live-game coverage of the Bulls-76ers game will be on NBC Sports Chicago and on NBC Sports Philadelphia, respectively.
NBC Sports and PointsBet also partnered with the PGA TOUR to produce “BetCast” programming for golf. Their first event BetCast was the WM Phoenix Open.
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Bill Ordine was a reporter and editor in news and sports for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun for 25 years, and was a lead reporter on a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News. Bill started reporting on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for 10 years. He covered the World Series of Poker for a decade and his articles on gaming have appeared in many major U.S. newspapers, such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald and others.