NBC Sports Serves Up Sports Betting Broadcast in D.C.

The first network broadcasts focusing on sports betting will occur in the Washington D.C. area when NBC Sports presents shows focusing on NBA’s Washington Wizards. The show will feature sports betting information for in-play wagering.

NBC Sports Washington plans to offer alternative betting-focused broadcasts for eight of the current NBA season’s Washington Wizards games.

Basketball fans in and around the nation’s capital are now able to tune in to NBC Sports Washington Plus for an interactive in-game betting experience where the announcers talk about point spreads, odds and betting statistics, and on streaming advertising breaks stats and betting information share the screen with the on-court action.

Legislation to allow regulated sports betting in Washington D.C. was passed last month, including at venues like the Capitol One Arena, home to the Wizards and the NHL’s Washington Capitals. The enabling bill is awaiting final approval, but legal bookmaking is expected to be in full swing in the city by the start of the Major League Baseball season.

“We wanted to give fans a little taste of what they can expect and maybe explain to them what predictive gaming is,” said Mark Friedman, director of creative services and advanced technology at NBC Sports Washington. “We want to let them know that it’s not this scary thing with a stigma associated with it. It’s fun. You can put $5 on a game and add a little bit of interest.”

The new platform includes a free sweepstakes offering viewers a shot at a $500 cash prize in an interactive fantasy-style competition where they’re asked to predict individual player performance.

“It’s the 1.0 version of where we’re ultimately going,” said Zach Leonsis, senior vice president of strategic initiatives at Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Wizards. “This will get more advanced.”