CBS could be ready to embrace sports gambling
The broadcaster may give up its no-sports-gambling fight
It might be presumptuous and a little premature, but CBS Sports is going to provide access to sports gambling. It’s not a far-fetched idea, given advances seen in sports leagues as they warm up to sports wagers, as well. Both the Redskins and the LA Rams are introducing products that are precursors to what could be full-blown sports gambling platforms and CBS has also taken steps to go the same route, even if it won’t admit it.
During Super Bowl LIII this past February, CBS deployed augmented technology and high-speed cameras to engage fans in more ways than ever seen before. The NFL has recently entered into a sports gambling data partnership with Sportradar that will see the delivery of stats in real-time and which will also allow Sportradar to stream game feeds to select sportsbooks across the globe. Building on this relationship, CBS would be able to offer new services, which would attract more fans. Having more fans means having more eyes on the TV and this translates into more marketing dollars.
Then there’s the fact that NBC Sports has partnered with AEG to launch the NBC Sports Pub Pass. It will live-stream soccer, rugby and cycling matches to restaurants and bars across the US. In order for CBS to remain competitive, it will have to respond with something similar.
CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus isn’t willing to confirm or deny the existence of a new sports gambling platform. He has previously stated that the broadcaster wouldn’t get involved in the wagering space, but has apparently loosened up. He states, “We’re still talking about it. We have not formulated our plan yet, but it’s under discussion and we’ll have a plan, obviously, by opening day.”
18 states have either already legalized sports gambling or are close to pulling the trigger. 2020 is going to bring even more into the mix and broadcasters are almost certainly going to capitalize on the popularity to increase their bottom lines.