ESPN’s Daily Wager Leaving Las Vegas, Heads Back to Connecticut
ESPN’s sports betting program, Daily Wager, is set to leave its Las Vegas studio and return to its original home at the broadcaster’s head offices in Bristol, Connecticut.
The departure comes shortly after the recent announcement of ESPN’s upcoming sports betting venture, ESPN BET, in collaboration with PENN Entertainment.
ESPN had a deal since 2020 with Caesars Entertainment to use its 6,000-square-foot space inside the LINQ hotel, a pact which will now wrap up shortly.
The move is scheduled for September 7, the day of the NFL season’s kick-off. It will also see schedule changes for the show, including a new Saturday morning slot.
“ESPN created some great content and incredible memories during our time at the Las Vegas studio,” said Scott Clark, VP of ESPN’s fantasy and sports betting content, in a press release.
Return to Headquarters
Daily Wager debuted in March 2019 from ESPN’s Bristol headquarters, airing three days a week on ESPN2.
However, in 2020, the show relocated to Las Vegas, broadcasting from The LINQ Hotel + Experience studio on the Las Vegas Strip, after the broadcaster signed a deal with Caesars.
“With our new ESPN BET deal set to launch this fall, we felt it was best to return to our headquarters. We cannot thank everyone we worked with at Caesars Entertainment over the past few years.”
ESPN BET is expected to roll out in November. It will replace Penn Entertainment’s previous Barstool Sportsbook brand, with Barstool Sports’ media operation returning to the control of founder Dave Portnoy.
New Beginnings and Schedules
The relocation is not the only change for Daily Wager. ESPN has unveiled a fresh weekly schedule for the show.
It will now air on ESPN2 from Thursday to Monday, taking a break on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Additionally, a new Saturday morning slot at 11 a.m. ET has been introduced to provide previews for the weekend’s football games.
The show has seen some personnel changes as well. Doug Kezirian, the former host of Daily Wager, parted ways with ESPN in July.
Since his departure, the hosting duties have been shared by Joe Fortenbaugh and Tyler Fulghum. With the show’s move away from a Caesars property, the broadcaster is free to promote its own sportsbook on the show.
However, the official rollout of the new online sports betting app is slated for November.
The relocation of Daily Wager shows ESPN’s commitment to its sportsbook venture with Penn Entertainment.
It also probably indicates a winding down of ESPN’s other marketing partnerships with Caesars Entertainment, and potentially DraftKings to follow.
The NFL season is on the horizon, kicking off on September 7 with the Kansas City Chiefs vs the Detroit Lions, with legions of football betting fans awaiting.
ESPN also owns live game broadcast rights for both the NBA and NHL, so the veteran sports broadcaster will be looking to use its large, committed viewership to promote its own sportsbook venture.
With that in mind, moving its flagship betting show away from a rival sportsbook operator’s casino is hardly a surprise.