With sports betting being implemented across the United States at a rapid pace, professional sports broadcasts may be about to change. NBC Sports Washington Plus will introduce an alternative broadcast beginning this week, involving the Washington Wizards and Milwaukee Bucks, infusing the footage with sports betting features.
Future of television
NBC Sports Washington Plus plans to produce a broadcast that will change the way fans view professional sports games. The network will provide a prediction contest that is free to enter, offering a $500 prize during the Wizards and Bucks game. Along with the contest, the broadcast will feature sports betting data and statistics in real time. This information will be displayed on the screen during the game’s broadcast.
The Friday night game will be the first of eight that will include the interactive broadcast, with the screen showing game action along with point spreads, odds, and other statistics. Game announcers will continue to provide commentary with advertising breaks scheduled as usual.
The general manager and senior vice president of NBC Sports Washington, Damon Phillips, said: “Combining the excitement of live Wizards games with engaging predictive gaming and data feeds will deliver a very entertaining experience for viewers, from first-time gaming players to savvy sports bettors. The level of interest from fans, partners and sponsors in this area continues to increase, so we are pleased to offer this compelling product this season.”
“Predict the Game” content
In the beginning, the interactive broadcast will include simple “Predict the Game” content. The sweepstakes-type contest will include questions that players can answer during the game. An example would be how many points a player will score during a given quarter.
Sports fans who want to interact with the contest will need to visit the website of NBC Sports Washington to take part. The answers to the questions can be input at the site for a shot at winning $500.
Eventually, the free games should pave the way for viewers to be able to place wagers directly via the broadcast. The contests are expected to become more advanced, with operators working to create gameplay that is supportive of the broadcast as it runs during the sporting events.
The alternate broadcast was initially created to attract the casual bettor. The director of creative services and advanced technology for NBC Sports Washington, Mark Friedman, said: “We wanted to give fans a little taste of what they can expect and maybe explain to them what predictive gaming is. We want to let them know that it’s not this scary thing with a stigma associated with it. It’s fun. You can put $5 on a game and add a little bit of interest.”
As the interactive gaming option launches during Friday’s game, it will be interesting to see how many fans participate. We may soon see similar applications added by other networks involving other professional sports, such as the NFL and MLB if this NBC option becomes popular and lucrative.