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Al Bernstein (left) and Brent Musburger unveil VSiN's first studio in 2017. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

As the U.S. sports betting market matures, a robust media landscape is forming alongside it, with companies aiming to educate and entertain bettors.

The state of play: One of the early entrants is Vegas Stats & Information Network (VSiN), which launched in January 2017. VSiN has three studios in Las Vegas (South Point, Mandalay Bay, Circa), one in Atlantic City (Borgata) and one outside Chicago (Rivers).

  • Much like Bloomberg, Cheddar and other financial news networks that broadcast from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, VSiN produces upward of 16 hours of daily programming from inside major sportsbooks.
  • Circa opened two weeks ago with the "world's largest sportsbook," and VSiN has a studio inside (see below).
  • "The sports betting world pays attention to the numbers Circa releases, and we're right there, creating content from a place that helps open the market," says CEO Brian Musburger, who recruited his uncle and longtime sportscaster, Brent, to leave ESPN and join VSiN nearly four years ago.

The big picture: Sports betting media can take on many different forms, from your standard handicapping show to more educational or comedic offerings.

  • Informative: This is VSiN's niche. "Early on we wanted credibility with hard core sports bettors, but now as the market matures we've also recognized there's a need for more 'sports betting 101' content," says Musburger.
  • Entertaining: Think Barstool, whose personalities don't profess to be experts, but their audience doesn't care. For them, it's about (virtually) sitting on the couch with friends, making bets and having a good time.
  • Mainstream: When you think of a mainstream sports betting program, perhaps you're envisioning a "SportsCenter"-style show with a betting tilt. That's essentially what ESPN's "Daily Wager" is, and "Fox Bet Live" is similar.

What to watch: Sports betting programming was once considered taboo for TV networks. Now, it's table stakes for survival and a new way to keep fans engaged.

  • Some networks will create their own programming, while others will pay companies like VSiN to produce shows for them (MSG+ already does this).
  • Meanwhile, digital outlets are creating their own content and earning affiliate revenue from sportsbooks by sending them potential customers.

Go deeper: The thriving offshore betting market

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Aug 17, 2021 - Sports

The sports world's "decacorn"

Expand chart
Data: Crunchbase; Chart: Connor Rothschild/Axios

Fanatics has nearly tripled in value over the last year. Now, the e-commerce giant wants to expand into new businesses like sports betting, ticketing and media.

Driving the news: Fanatics closed a $325 million funding round last week that values the company at $18 billion, making it the world's 12th-most valuable private company, per CB Insights.

3 mins ago - World

Ukraine president to Biden: "There are no minor incursions"

Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky responded on Thursday to President Biden's suggestion that a "minor incursion" by Russia may not draw the same response as a large invasion, which some in Kyiv saw as inviting Russian aggression.

What he's saying: "We want to remind the great powers that there are no minor incursions and small nations. Just as there are no minor casualties and little grief from the loss of loved ones. I say this as the President of a great power," Zelensky tweeted.

15 mins ago - Health

The drugs pushing prescription prices down for Medicare patients

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Although net prices of brand-name drugs have increased significantly over the last decade, the savings produced by generics have actually driven average prescription prices down in Medicare's pharmacy benefit and Medicaid, according to a new analysis by the Congressional Budget Office.

Why it matters: The analysis reiterates that the generic market is largely working as intended.