Why CBS Won’t Mention NFL Point Spreads During Games
With legal sports betting having spread to four states after the US Supreme Court struck down a federal ban—along with Nevada which had sports betting—the networks that broadcast the NFL are faced with a challenge.
Do they finally acknowledge betting point spreads on games or do they stick to a policy of not mentioning gambling factors in their coverage?
For now, CBS president Sean McManus told Sports Illustrated that the network will maintain its policy of not mentioning point spreads.
“We’re not going to be doing it in our NFL coverage right now,” he said. “The ruling has only affected a small handful of states so we don’t think it affects the audience greatly, so right now we’re not going to be talking about point spreads with our NFL coverage.”
Since the high court ruling, Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi and West Virginia have launched live sports betting in the respective states. Nevada was grandfathered from the federal ban and has operated sports books for decades.
Meanwhile, Fox Sports is launching its first show dedicated to covering gambling on its FS1 cable network. The show is titled “Lock It In” and will premiere September 10, with Rachel Bonnetta as host.
“We’re thrilled to expand our FS1 studio slate with the addition of a one-of-a-kind gambling show, ‘Lock It In,’ which will showcase the biggest topics in sports through the eyes of captive fans and new co-host Marcellus Wiley to a now 90-minute ‘Speak for Yourself,’” said Mark Silverman, president, national networks, FOX Sports in a press release.
“These additions align with our overall strategy to deliver unparalleled programming headlined by the premier talent in the business,” he said.
Also, longtime sports radio talk show host Mike Francesa, speaking to CNBC predicted that sports betting will fundamentally change the way sports is vowed in the U.S. with bettors watching more games and seeking more information on teams.
“Companies like Boyd Gaming and MGM are going to do really well,” he said. “States are not going to re-vet people. They’re going to deal with people who already have licenses. And that’s why casino companies are going to do really well around the country. The smart [gaming companies] are going to get in there and make a big stand in the big states. I think that’s going to be a very big part of their business.”
Francesa was promoting a new sports information app he is launching and said he is negotiating with several companies to expand the app to include gambling information.