The Washington Redskins will make history this season, regardless of what happens on the field.
Washington will be the first NFL franchise to offer a gambling-focused telecast during the preseason just over a year after the Supreme Court paved the way for states to legalize sports gambling.
Fans will have the opportunity to guess in-game outcomes and win cash prizes throughout the team’s four preseason games broadcasted on regional cable network NBC Sports Washington Plus. A traditional telecast will air simultaneously on NBC Sports Washington.
The network offered similar contests last season for the NBA’s Washington Wizards. Increased ratings and fan engagement were among the benefits from the eight gambling-focused Wizards telecasts, NBC Sports Washington General Manager Damon Phillips told the Associated Press.
Throughout the Redskins’ four preseason games, viewers can tune into NBC Sports Washington Plus and play the interactive game for free as $1,000 is given away to one winner each quarter.
These interactive in-game gambling challenges promise to liven up the preseason, which has traditionally been a snooze-fest for casual football fans due to the unknown players and lower level of competition. With no cost or risk for fans, it’s hard to see a downside to what will likely be an exciting new development for Redskins fans. Those who aren’t interested in viewing the innovating telecast can tune into NBC Sports Washington and avoid it entirely.
Hardcore, committed fans will likely watch preseason football either way, but casual fans or individuals interested in sports betting could become engaged like never before. Lifelong Redskins fans feel attached to the team and will be locked in regardless, but for others, having a chance to win money will draw in and keep their attention in an otherwise meaningless game.
For NBC, the decision appears to be a no-brainer and a can’t-lose situation. The network can draw more viewers and expand its audience, increase engagement, and appeal to what’s likely to be a younger demographic without risking alienating people uninterested in the new telecast, since there’s an option for both.
Will you be tuning in to NBC Sports Washington Plus to participate in the new gambling telecast, or will you stick to the traditional channel to view preseason games?
This poll is closed
Yes, I’ve got a system that’s guaranteed to work!
I’ll be watching the game regardless of whether or not I can gamble
No, who cares about preseason anyway?
Nah, any chance I can borrow a few bones to cover my losses?