We've been writing about the sports gambling gold rush for over a year now, and another interesting example of it is launching tonight on FOX 29 in Philadelphia before the Eagles play the Packers on Thursday Night Football.
From 7:15 to 7:30 p.m., right before the national show with Terry Bradshaw, Michael Strahan, and Howie Long, Props & Locks will debut. This show, which is branded with FOX Bet (the joint gambling venture between FOX Sports and The Stars Group), will feature FOX 29 host Scott Grayson and former Eagles linebacker Garry Cobb in the studio with gambling analyst Todd Fuhrman via satellite. The program will air weekly in this spot.
"The biggest goal is to make some of the gambling parlance and vernacular much more comfortable to bettors that aren't all that familiar with it," Fuhrman, a personality on FS1's daily gambling show Lock It In who got his start in the industry as an oddsmaker for Caesar's tells The Big Lead. "This gives the perfect vehicle and medium to take a basic X's and O's approach to take sports betting to a new market where it continues to grow in Pennsylvania with the new legalization."
This is an interesting experiment for a couple of reasons. First, it's televised bumper coverage of a major sporting event, which makes it a lot different from what has come before in the form of the myriad gambling content on TV, radio, and the internet. Secondly, the regional nature of it means that the conversation can be targeted to cover the Eagles, which it goes without saying is what Philadelphia fans care about the most.
Is this a template for future regional gambling bumper coverage?
"I definitely think so," says Fuhrman. "The one nice part about doing this in Philadelphia is we can focus on the local teams more so than looking at things from a macro level with the whole league. So our goal with this program is going to be to look at the Eagles week-to-week but also focus on the Thursday night game. My feeling is when we start to see legalization in more jurisdictions there will be other network partners that try and do something specific to their teams rather than on our complete national network."
One integrated portion of the show that will be discussed is that FOX Bet is offering an even money prop bet that Carson Wentz will throw at least one touchdown pass. Considering he has 76 touchdown passes in 43 career starts, this is a bet that favors the consumer; typically the market price would be -400 (meaning you'd have to bet $400 to win $100 on the prop).
While mobile betting just went live in Pennsylvania in late May, there is already stout competition. In addition to FOX Bet, there are apps for Sugarhouse, FanDuel, Rivers, and Parx. DraftKings is not far behind. This show could be an interesting differentiator as a user funnel, especially if the concept is transferable across other regions.