Bleacher Report’s NFL personalities Chris Simms and Adam Lefkoe are starting a new video series that will include a weekly podcast previewing the gambling angles for that week’s games.
Simms & Lefkoe: the Show, featuring former NFL quarterback Chris Simms and Adam Lefkoe, starts Wednesday and is sponsored by Yahoo.
A court ruling earlier this year striking down a law that made sports gambling illegal has TV networks looking to see how to provide betting advice and information and, eventually cash in on advertising and other revenue generated by wagering.
“With the sweeping changes with regard to legalized betting, we see the narrative of how people watch games and will consume them in the future will be a seamless experience of viewing, interacting socially and a direct line to betting,” said Joe Yanarella, senior VP of content at B/R. “We’re thinking through what does that mean for us, what’s our P.O.V as a brand and how does that fit into our entire content experience."
Simms & Lefkoe will consist of a Wednesday show distributed via B/R’s social channels, YouTube and the B/R app, plus a series of podcasts. The Friday podcast will solely feature B/R first sports-betting content.
Yanarella says the gambling podcast will still be an entertainment show that makes predictions and provides betting information.
In one pre-taped segment of the podcast, a viewer who has never wagered will go on camera with an opportunity to bet Lefkoe’s money on one of that week’s games. If the bet pays off the viewer returns for another week.
”We’re thinking about how we socialize and normalize the behaviors and the habits because our audience does not consist of hard-core bettors,” he said. “I think long term you’ll see things like interactivity, getting fans involved with polls actually getting to place free bets. I think that will come when it’s a little more mainstream.”
The main Simms & Lefkoe show will be have a player based format, giving viewers an opportunity to get to know the players inside the helmets.
“Most coverage of the NFL tends to be very reactionary to the games or it tends to be focused about the league itself or the teams,” Yanarella said. "So we’re excited about creating a weekly show where we have segments with players. We have interactivity and they get to show off their individuality and connect with our audience like player in other sports. We think that’s our unique value proposition.”
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Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.