ESPN announced last week it is expanding its sports betting content with a variety of new shows, updated roles, and more content with in-depth analysis and coverage during the new football season. This is in line with recent statements from president Jimmy Pitaro, who described sports wagering as a “must-have” for the brand.
Doug Kezirian has been named ESPN Sports Betting Insider. He has been with ESPN since July 2012, and has hosted the sports betting news and information program Daily Wager since it launched in March 2019. He has spent nearly two decades immersed in the betting space.
Kezirian will remain in Las Vegas and maintain his consistent Daily Wager presence, while increasing visibility across ESPN’s studio shows and digital platforms. That includes multiple betting columns per week on ESPN.com, such as last-minute football betting advice, insider perspective and picks on Saturdays and Sundays. He will also contribute similarly to ESPN Radio programming, particularly on weekends throughout the college football and NFL seasons.
JUST IN: ESPN is upping its sports betting content@DougESPN named ESPN Sports Betting Insider@Tyler_Fulghum new host of Daily Wager@JoeFortenbaugh digital show in Jan.@erinkatedolan betting show on Snapchat@AnitaMarks ESPN LA radio show
— John R. Manzo (@JohnRManzo) September 8, 2022
With Kezirian’s expanded role, ESPN Sports Betting Analyst Tyler Fulghum is taking over the host role for Daily Wager. Fulghum has been with ESPN since August 2020, and will continue his contributing role outside of hosting Daily Wager with appearances on other shows such as SportsCenter and NBA Today.
In addition, ESPN Sports Betting Analyst Joe Fortenbaugh, who just signed a new multi-year contract with ESPN, remains in his role contributing to Daily Wager and other studio shows, while adding additional responsibilities to his portfolio. Coming in January, he will host a new digital show/podcast.
Doug Kezirian, new ESPN Sports Betting Insider
“Fans are craving sports betting content, and ahead of and during football season we want to provide it to them,” said Scott Clark, Vice President, Fantasy & Sports Betting Content, ESPN. “We have added some talented minds to the diverse and well-respected industry experts we already have, and are implementing new creative ideas into the mix. Now we’re just ready to watch it all unfold starting with football season.”
In addition to Fortenbaugh’s new digital show/podcast in January, ESPN Sports Betting Analyst Erin Dolan will host Bet with Erin Dolan each Monday, a new sports betting show on Snapchat. Her role across ESPN social and digital platforms will continue. She’ll make weekly appearances on Monday Tailgate, while also continuing to provide sports betting analysis for Daily Wager, Bet, SportsCenter, and This Just In, among other shows.
Moreover, ESPN Sports Betting Analyst Anita Marks is adding a weekly sports betting show on ESPN Radio Los Angeles from 7p-10p PT. She will continue The Anita Marks Show on ESPN New York radio along with regular appearances on Daily Wager and Bet.
Outside of new roles and shows, ESPN is also upping its editorial content. In addition to ESPN Betting Industry Reporter David Purdum’s Notable Bets columns on Mondays recapping the football weekend, he will be developing larger features with a betting focus.
SportsCenter Commentator and Sports Betting Analyst ‘Stanford’ Steve Coughlin and Research Producer and Sports Betting Analyst Chris ‘The Bear’ Fallica will share regular weekly picks columns on Thursdays, along with the return of their podcast on Wednesdays, Stanford Steve & The Bear.
Newly-signed ESPN Fantasy & Sports Betting analyst Liz Loza
SportsCenter Anchor Scott Van Pelt’s Winners segment from SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt will become a new weekly column on Fridays. Also on Fridays, ESPN’s sports betting analysts will combine for a weekly NFL betting tips column.
Newly-signed ESPN Fantasy & Sports Betting analyst Liz Loza will contribute a weekly NFL props column, one that bridges fantasy football and sports betting into one piece per week.
Finally, Daily Wager is set for five shows and Bet is set for three shows per week for the football season.
ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro
Back in June, in an appearance on The Athletic’s Sports Media podcast, ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro said Disney’s consumer research pointed out the company should capitalize on the sports betting boom. “It’s something we need to be doing,” he stated. “It’s something that our fans are expecting from us.”
Pitaro said he sees sports gambling as part of his company heading forward. “It’s not a ‘nice to have,’ it’s pretty much at this point a must-have,” he explained. For him, this means ESPN must serve the sports fan “with what they’re expecting” and take the friction out of the process. He stated ESPN has the opportunities “to partner with different folks and be a bit more aggressive in the space.”