The Evolution of Sports Betting

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This is a podcast episode titled, The Evolution of Sports Betting. The summary for this episode is: <p>Our first episode on sports betting is here! The industry is rapidly changing. Accessibility to sports betting is expanding, resulting in different audience bases. Today, Jason is joined by Yelena Shkolnik and Jeff Gerttula. Yelena will take us through how the sports betting industry has changed, trends we see happening, and where the industry could go. Jeff discusses sports betting from a media viewpoint and shares engagement opportunities as sports betting grows and evolves. Listen now for insight into how the audience expansion in sports betting opens up the doors for content and betting engagement.</p>
How Much the Sports Betting Industry Has Changed, and Where It's Going
01:40 MIN
How Physical and Online Sports Books Have Evolved
01:18 MIN
The Education Curve for the Average American Better
00:34 MIN
The Opportunity that Betting Creates For Media - Considering the Gen Z Audience
00:57 MIN
How CBS Considers the Different Betting Audiences and Engagement Opportunities
02:37 MIN

Speaker 1: Welcome to The Jump Off Point, an original podcast by Jump Capital. Today, our host, Jason Felger, and partner, Yelena Shkolnik, sit down to discuss Jump's outlook on the sports betting industry. We then begin our sports betting series via a conversation with Jeffrey Gerttula, EVP and GM of CBS Sports Digital at CBS Interactive.

Jason Felger: Hi everyone, we have for you today our first episode on sports betting, something nearly every person has heard of some have engaged in often illegally and is rapidly changing in the U.S.. I have with me, Yelena Shkolnik from our team, and we're going to do a quick primer on the U. S. Sports betting industry, the trends we see at Jump and what we're excited about. We're going to do that before we cut to our conversation with today's guest, Jeff Gerttula, from CBS Sports Digital. Yelena, let's start with what happened about three years ago now. In 2018, the Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, or as everyone refers to it, PASPA, making way for basically each state to decide if and how they would approach legalized sports betting. On the heels of that, you put together a great piece that summarized what was happening at that point in time, Jump's view on the market, the sports betting market here in the U. S., and a lot of that was around the sizing of the market. And that still remains a big question today, as far as the industry as a whole, the size of that. Can you catch us up on where are we with state legalization? How big is that market today and where do we think we're going from here as far as legalization throughout the different states in the U.S.?

Yelena Shkolnik: Yeah. Sure. So when we published the post, which was early 2019, there were about 10 legal open states. Today there's 21. So a pretty material difference. There's another nine that have legalized, but don't have any activity. And then behind those guys, there's probably another three or so in queue in terms of having legislation. From how close is that to our estimates perspective, there was an estimate put out by Eilers back in 2017, that the target would be something... 32 open states. And so we're dead on it, and we're going quick. And in fact, we're quite likely to actually exceed that expectation, I bet, from just a state count. But it's a fairly reasonable estimate. You certainly wouldn't expect all 50 states to become legal and embrace sports betting. And then the other comment that we made in that original post was, it's not really just about legalizing the states, it's about how they legalized. And so if a state has only legalized a physical book, well, that changes the level of consumer adoption since you do physically drive to that book and engage in a very different way than if mobile or online was available. So in early 2019, only about half of those states that I cited were at all open for mobile or online activity. Today, we're trending a lot better than that. Something like 15 of those 21 states have mobile or online activity enabled and that's an enormous driver, as we predicted, in the states where it's enabled. 80, 90% of volumes could be coming from mobile, which I guess is intuitively quite logical, and it's very true globally as well. On the revenue side of things, we're also pretty on track. The fairly reasonable estimates that got put out were 2021, 2022, we'd be tracking around$ 4 billion of revenue. So that's not handled in terms of gross budding volume that's revenue to the betting operators. And that's pretty much where we're at. It's nice to see us on course. And when you ask these questions about," Well, how big does this get?" We have to look at a couple of variables there. One, there's still a few very large states that could, should come online soon, right? And a lot of people's work went to California. There should be a lot that comes from California. And there's complexity there, there's a lot of tribal relationships to gaming in California. But there's still a lot of growth to come from just legalizing new states. Another aspect of it is just the penetration of betting. So in the UK, we see numbers lower, closer to 17, 20% of people actually engage in betting. In the U. S. we're still at about 10 to 14%, so you'd argue that's a little bit low. One of the things that when we originally did the thesis we looked at was just, what are consumer attitudes towards betting? We didn't grow up with it here in the U. S., outside of maybe living in a couple of specific locations. So, how did people feel about it? And a lot of people had reservations. They were uncomfortable, they thought of betting as a primarily social activity..." We do this season long fantasy thing that's fun with my friends. I don't bet against a book. That's very different. Is that even okay?" But we're starting to see people change their attitude about that. And we'll talk about this later too, but media's adoption and embrace of sports betting is what encourages, I think, the average consumer to also get comfortable with it. So maybe that brings up our penetration rate. Maybe that doubles it. That's a huge piece of it. And then the other piece of it is just really how people end up engaging with it. So we've got a lot of pre- match betting right now. We don't have a lot of in- game. In- game as a huge driver globally. Does in- game completely change the landscape for the United States? If people are making small bets throughout a game, how much could that change volumes? How much could that change penetration? We don't know. And we're still very early innings in what that could look like in the U.S.. And I think the media companies will be a huge driver of that too. It's fascinating because today, I think, all sports betting activity is probably eight, 10% as a share of total gaming activity, whereas in the UK, it's a third. So if you think about how much room we have to grow in terms of volume... and of course, maybe it's not totally fair to keep comparing us to the UK, but that's an easy, mature market to point to. That is how we think about it.

Jason Felger: Are we seeing saturation of books and expansion of books either physically or online? But, I'm most curious online and mobile. How has that part of the ecosystem, which most people are most familiar with evolved over these last few years?

Yelena Shkolnik: This is a very interesting question because it continues to evolve as the regulation continues to evolve. So there are very specific ways in which you could open a book. You do need to have license in the state in which you operate, in every state in which you operate. And you have to have what's called a" skin," which is a relationship... generally in most states, it is a relationship to a brick and mortar casino, to an existing gaming entity... those might have three available skins that they can offer up to potential partners to be their digital partners for betting. You can't access the state without these things. So to your question of saturation, they're not saturated in the sense that... there still is, in fact, a good amount of availability. And that is a little bit to do with the fact that every state is handling this very differently. So some states, in fact, we'll give a actual... stadium skins, right? They'll give it as nation skins. In some states you don't need to have a physical partner, you can just be a purely digital player. There's a number of states that are entertaining legislation like that or have it. So will there be availability? I think broadly described, yes. And we know how many slots there are in there. There remains some capacity. So for the typical startup, it's a very difficult dynamic, but not because there's no room or there's no capacity. I think for other reasons, right? And the more interesting question, for me, is, have we reached a point of consumer saturation? Meaning, do consumers have plenty of apps on their phone? And they're good. And so the war of trying to pay 300 ahead or 350 ahead is meaningless. I mean that... all that you're going to end up doing is just becoming another app on that consumer's phone and maybe getting them for some of their volume and maybe not. I do think that the existing experience of books, there are many... and obviously every state will have different books. And it's fun if you see a map of the leaderboard from state to states. So you feel like FanDuel winning over here, DraftKing is winning over here and BetMGM winning over here. But it's the big guys. It's the guys you expect, right? So our customer's set with," Hey, I think agile works for me. And I'm good." And," Do I need another book?: And I think there's a piece of it that certainly suggests that they are. On the other hand, when we did a little bit of our focus group work, which was basically a... thank you Twitter people for reaching out to us and giving us their perspectives of betting. We heard a tremendous amount of dissatisfaction with the experience that they had with these current books, which is not really that surprising, right? Books can in theory, just kick you off if you do too well. They can limit your play in any manner in which they choose. Sometimes their lines can feel arbitrary when you compare one book against the other... There's all issues and challenges there. So we thought," Yes, there might actually be opportunity for others, but they're probably not going to just be another book." Right? It's just not going to work to just try to win DraftKings game, but there is opportunity to do it from a different perspective. We are very excited to be backer of a platform called Sporttrade, very recent investment for us. But we're... you have to maybe take this a slightly different direction, we're very active investors in the Fintech universe. And we looked over there and said," Hey, in capital markets, there's such incredible applications." Right? There's such fluid, commission- free trading. Everything is incredibly transparent. What a really unique experience of that is, and then transition over to sports betting where you're paying these eight, 10% commissions on all of your bets and it's fundamentally very opaque and the experience is all very different from app to app. That doesn't seem consistent. That doesn't seem right. And it's quite likely that you would feel dissatisfied if on the one hand you have Robinhood, On the other hand, you have DraftKings. So we felt like there was an opportunity for someone to position themselves a little more like a Fintech player. And then setting all of that aside, there's an education curve for the average American better, right, if you didn't bet off shore historically... this is your first few bets. You don't know what lines are, maybe, maybe you're not comfortable with odds, you don't know how to make those bets. So it's logical that you would be looking for a very different interface. And what we really loved about Sporttrade is it really positions bets as... Yeah. The same way as you would position a financial asset, right? So you can purchase the Lakers at a win probability, and then as they go up and down, you can trade in and out of that position. It's very easy for you to understand that, it's intuitive and there's a lot of liquidity to make that exchange on the backend work. So yeah, these are the things that make us feel like," Yes, there might be room." And in fact, there might be room specifically, we hope, for Sporttrade.

Jason Felger: I think three years ago, I would have definitely been one of those that was skeptical on the adoption rate of the big media conglomerates, the major leagues, leaning hard into sports betting and adopting it, so to speak, through partnerships and sponsorships. Catch us up on those trends. What has been happening there. And you come at this from a great angle because you lead a lot of our digital media area as well, in addition to sports betting. Bring those themes together.

Yelena Shkolnik: At the tail end of 2018, early 2019, we really had no visibility into how media companies would choose to embrace this or not. And set media companies aside, how Little Leagues and how would teams interact with sports betting? And you likely recall, there were a lot of mixed opinions. There were folks out there trying to fight for integrity fees. There were folks actually angling hard against betting and the challenge that would create the industry. And there were others that saw the enormous opportunity that betting creates for live sports rights, right? If you bet on a game, you want to watch the game. So it really does change the dynamic. One of the things people point to about the U. S. versus other countries is that the coverage of sports in the U. S. has always been so much more statistically driven, so much more analytical, that it lends itself to betting it's... we're talking about those metrics all the time. That's not something that you hear in international broadcast. So we've got an audience that's really primed for it, that's ready for it. And we're talking to CBS later and they'll comment on the fact that they air commentary that is coverage, to some extent, that leans towards betting. And so it was just perfect to have those relationships. It makes a lot of sense to have them. So from that perspective, I think very interesting for media. And of course, one aspect that we're very interested in is all of the tools that will help media companies embrace betting and all of the new properties in media that will embrace betting. So of course, you'll see every media property grow their coverage with betting in a general sense, but also there are new players, right? And so I think of the Vegas Stats and Information Network, I think of players like Action that are just hyper- specific and hyper- focused and how can we develop really good content for betters, and also bring betters up the education curve. So that aspect of it is really interesting. I think the other aspect of it that we don't maybe hit on as much when we talk about betting is the opportunity that betting creates for media in another sense, right? So just to come back to the Gen Z thing, Gen Z as a category, as a generation, they're not as connected to teams as maybe their parents were, right? It's not really just about, What city I'm in... that's my local team, and that's my relationship." They have more of a relationship with athletes, right? They follow their favorite athletes on social media. It's a very different dynamic. They think that live is a little less important than the prior generation. They can watch highlights and be perfectly happy with that relationship with sports. And of course, just because of the enormous amount of cord cutting that's happened, it's actually quite hard for them to watch stuff live, right? They likely don't even have access to that. So it's a very different, separate relationship with traditional sports media. And so I think betting creates this really unique and interesting opportunity to try to solve those problems for this entire category of people. One solution that we are very big fans of is a company called Buzzer, which effectively just cuts through the noise of everything that happens after you cut the cord, right? You have no idea what platform the live event that you want to watch is on, if you do know what platform it's on, it's likely a subscription video on demand service that you have to pay for separately. If you've cut the cord on a really hefty capable bill, and then you switch over to paying for four or five subscription services, just to cover all the sports that you're enthusiastic about and now you're paying probably more than you paid before, it's just is not a tenable solution. It doesn't really work for people. So basically, Buzzer just cuts through all that noise and tells you," Hey, what you want to watch is over here. If you'd like to make a small payment and just watch the segment of it that's really exciting, do that. And if you happen to have some other method of authenticating or a previous relationship, we'll cover that and you don't have to pay anything, but the point is, let's just make it super easy for you to watch what it is you want to watch." All of these things are just bringing this next generation and previous generations to some degree, right, back to live sports and engaging in the way that I would imagine leagues and also right's owners would want you to.

Jason Felger: I mean, so much of what we're talking about is a modernization and bringing to a digital and mobile platform, what we've all experienced in the casino for years. And obviously we're talking about sports betting in the book and in digitizing and putting on a mobile and online experiences, the book, but there's a whole other side of casinos. And that is the gaming tables and all the aspects of the actual floor itself. How do you think iGaming fits into this eventually?

Yelena Shkolnik: Yeah, this is a really interesting, entirely different topic of conversation. One of the neat things about sports betting that I think a lot of people don't appreciate is... I wouldn't call it a loss leader, but it certainly isn't actually the profit driver, right? We want you to walk into a casino and engage with the book, but after you engage with the book, go play some keynote and do some slots, and that's really where we're going to make the money. Right? It's... Part of the interesting thing about it in the mobile context is, it actually works the same way. Sports betting globally, if I think about it, it's probably about 15% of all gaming activity, but in terms of online activity or mobile activity, now we're talking about 70% of mobile activity. So if you say, as a betting operator that does many things, including sports betting and including social casino, generally write," Well, you know what, I don't really need to cover sports betting because it's actually not a great margin for me. It doesn't really work." Then you're effectively seating all of those mobile players to someone else. And by the time you wake up to it and say," Hey, I could really make... try to spend money doing, online slots with folks." There on someone else's platform. So it doesn't matter, right? So there was an enormous opportunity to use it as a way to engage with customers and as a way to just get people comfortable with mobile gaming. iGaming regulation and legislation is not moving at the pace that a sports betting regulation is. So I'll be honest, I don't really know how that will evolve or how that will happen across states, where it will be legal, what will be legal, but I think we just, there's so little knowledge about how it will unfold.

Jason Felger: What we're going to do now is actually, with that context, cut over to our conversation with our guest today, Jeff Gerttula. All right, guys. Well, it is a beautiful spring day. We are well into the MLB season. We are facing the NBA playoffs. We just had an NFL draft. And so I can think of nothing better to do than to talk about sports spending a little bit with some friends. CBS Sports Digital has grown to be the third largest sports property in the U.S. and has also set viewership records with its super bowl live streams. We can think of no better person to talk with on how sports content consumption is changing and how sports betting stands to change media that our guest today, Jeff Gerttula. Jeff is the Executive Vice President and General Manager of CBS Sports Digital. He leads the media business for all CBS digital properties, which include CBS sports HQ, CBS sports. com, CBS sports fantasy, SportsLine, 247Sports and MaxPreps. He also leads the strategy and acquisition for exclusive live sports rights for the Paramount Plus streaming service. That's a lot and welcome Jeff.

Jeffrey Gerttula: Thanks for having me.

Jason Felger: So Jeff, Yelena, let's just get right into it.

Yelena Shkolnik: Yeah, let's do it. Given your experience leading the digital business for CBS sports, I thought, great place to start. Let's talk about the evolution of sports consumption, right. And just how people are watching them engaging with sports in the first place to start. I think it's really just thinking about this generational shift. In Gen Z, relationships sports feels different. It seems like most of their relationships are around social circles rather than the team based on their geography. It seems like they are engaging with very specific athletes as opposed to even whole teams. How does any of maybe the behavior of Gen Z affect how you think about CBS's properties and... What are you seeing?

Jeffrey Gerttula: It affects everything. We have to continue to think about how we grow. And the best way to grow is to focus in on new sports fans and where we're actually seeing new audiences emerging. And so Gen Z is a critical piece of that. And the real piece that has changed that's transformed... and all of this is obvious to say, but, I mean, social changed everything. The fact that you can have one- to- one relationships with athletes and that athletes can control their voice and they become the celebrities. It's changed the whole dynamic between the athlete and the fan and Gen Z is the most native to that. I grew up watching just a small set of channels in the New England area. So I'm watching New England teams. And now you have a group that was raised on being able to interact with athletes directly. It changed the whole dynamic of it. But I will say this, despite all those differences, it's still sports and it's still a game and there's still a lot of the same conversations. It's just a lot of the... there's just a lot more people who are rooting for different teams for different reasons.

Yelena Shkolnik: Maybe, let's transition to the betting side of things, because obviously-

Jeffrey Gerttula: Yeah.

Yelena Shkolnik: ...that is fascinating. So I am curious on your view as we transitioned into this universe where there's more legal betting, what is the unique positioning for CBS in that landscape?

Jeffrey Gerttula: Yeah, that's good. And to clarify my view of CVS with it, I think that the unique aspect of CBS Sports Apps or one of the strengths we have in this space is actually the fact that was... the digital business was originally SportsLine founded in 1995, that was built off of a heavy foundation of fantasy games and gambling at the time. So because of that and the evolution or digital evolution from that, it's in our DNA. And I think to translate that more directly, in our audience profile. Our audiences just index PI that way, because we have such a... We skew so heavy to fantasy, frankly. But then CBS Sports more broadly, right... the storytelling major event broadcast, it's different, right? I mean, it's more around PI level productions of the biggest events. And for obvious reasons, we've always had a strong separation between what we do on broadcast and anything gambling related. And so sports gamblers watch sports because they bet on it. Right? So, there's always... there's been... there's this aspect where on a digital side, we've had this voice, on the TV side, we've been with the NFL, we're the masters, we're the PGA Tour, we're the NCAA. So we're purely showing that while on the digital side, we have this different DNA. And so a lot of my time here has been trying to figure out how you, how do you balance that?

Jason Felger: Well, when you started to go through it, you've got those two primary channels, the way you described it. Those two primary outlets.

Jeffrey Gerttula: Yeah.

Jason Felger: If we think about the sports better... we were talking earlier about just sports content in general and the different customers that consume it, but the sports better, we're in a really crazy period right now in the U. S. because you've got very sophisticated betters that have been doing it in different ways for a long time, but now you have a lot of new entrance and you have a lot of betters that are much more of a casual demographic.

Jeffrey Gerttula: Yeah.

Jason Felger: Do you also think about different betting audiences in some of those different properties in who you're speaking to with either content or interactivity or just different engagement opportunities?

Jeffrey Gerttula: We had to think about that from a brand perspective, right? We're CBS, so we're mass reach, we're broad, everything we do has to have that perspective or else, what are we doing? So we do think about large tent, broad- based view of this. And it does include obviously more... not just... also non gamblers, which we have to be very conscious of. And there's a large percentage of sports fans who just don't want it. And so we have to be careful about the level to which we're putting sports gambling in places that are reaching everyone. And I think have more opt in paths and a lot of instances. So if you want to go deeper, we like to direct them. And that's what SportsLine gambling content brand now is. And it's just a place where you can someone can opt in and get deeper stuff. And... But even that audience... and this is what we've been finding is even that SportsLine audience, which is opt in people who have interest in game and content, this is still, for the most part, casual. Casual doesn't mean," Hey, we're just going... we're... it's going to be silly and it's going to not be serious." We think casual, we think," We want to make fans smarter and offer them really good insight. But we just have to speak a simpler language and we have to talk to let it get eye level with the fan and not use jargon and lingo. And not go all the way there talking about regressions." And there's a place for that. And that audience can go do that. That's not how we're going to speak, but we'll still have really smart people who are going to let people have fun with this in a more informed way. But just as the language... and by the way, all this stuff I'm saying is... we're in the middle of figuring this out. We talk about it, too much gambling content in some places where we see how the audience is not reacting well. We have other things where we're like," What are we saying here? Who are you talking to?" But that's the cost of refinement right now, is, how do you take this so that, one, you're not alienating a group where CBS... we're trying to reach everyone. And two, even the people that you have coming in... talk sports, talk the language of sports, don't want to... this is still fun. This is still... an audience that right now, a lot of people like, parlays and props and putting five together and be able to take 10 bucks, trying to take a bet to make 500. Those are the things that we're seeing. So it's... Anyway, it's a long way of saying, sometimes you've got to not overthink it, not be too smart, but still come from a place of, we're trying to provide smart analysis without a sounding like we're being too smart, if that makes sense.

Yelena Shkolnik: Yeah, it does. And that tone of real approachability in a very mass reach, I am interested in maybe how you approach new customer acquisition and bringing new fans to CBS that maybe weren't loyal CBS viewers before, that might sit on the betting side of the fence, right, and be looking for that level of analysis, maybe not that level of depth... they're not looking for the regressions, they're looking for just-

Jeffrey Gerttula: Yeah.

Yelena Shkolnik: ...great commentary.

Jeffrey Gerttula: Of course.

Yelena Shkolnik: Is this helping you bring them on?

Jeffrey Gerttula: Yeah. Yeah. It does. And... we find is a lot... is even SportsLine and when we're doing it right, the audience does skew younger. It'll move into more of a twenties or thirties type demo. We're still thinking about a lot of things. And by the way, gambling's been around for a long time too. So I always think about it, sometimes it's... the economics are different now. Obviously you have partnerships and there's sports book revenue's going to impact media. Meet your media business. And from a fan standpoint, it's bigger now, sure. You have more people are being introduced to it. But we used to always talk about, we... before any states were legalized... having legalized sports gambling, mixed content and gambling oriented content was still our most popular stuff. I mean, sometimes people are like," Oh, that's going to... it's going to do this." It's already doing it, they're just betting offshore. It's not... but now it's obviously the financial underpinnings of out business. It's... Oh, there's this giant new media category emerging and we have to make sure that we're talking to these audiences so we can be a good partner for someone who's looking to meet our audience.

Yelena Shkolnik: Right. So on the media side, let's chat about that, because I think after the appeal, a lot of questions were," Well, what is media going to do with betting? Are they going to embrace it? How are they going to interact with it..." what that would even look like, and you-

Jeffrey Gerttula: Yeah.

Yelena Shkolnik: ...lead a deal for CBS with William Hill, so what drove you to do that? How did you think about it? How does CBS think about relationships like that?

Jeffrey Gerttula: Yeah, because our digital businesses index well with these gambling audiences, we thought that we had a really nice asset for a sports book partner, where we could get in, roll up our sleeves and try to figure out how a media property and a sports book in partnership can try to figure out how we can translate our eyeballs, right... our media into value for them. And we looked long and hard around the space and looked for the right partners, right, the right brand fit, the right culture fit, the right tech, the right market access, and sharing data to try and understand what's working, what's not working. So it allows us to better understand our media business, as... through the eyes of a sports book, which informs your content investment," Hey, this doesn't work." Or even your approach to media placements like," Oh, we thought this would work in these positions in our scoreboards, but they're actually not good ways to funnel audiences. But on these other pages that are driven by SEO with this language, it can be effective." So we're really digging into what works, what doesn't work.

Jason Felger: Are you seeing certain content, certain hooks that are getting engagement? How do you... or how do you and William Hill think about this whole just massive population who's never put a bet down before? As you said, it's been around forever if you really wanted to do it, but accessibility has definitely-

Jeffrey Gerttula: Yeah.

Jason Felger: ...changed. How do you think about attracting the first time person who's like," I want to give this a shot and I've never done this before."

Jeffrey Gerttula: In some ways it distills into old school, internet distribution strategy. So you have a search strategy and your search strategy may be people asking questions, which you're going to provide answers to. Those questions may lead you to people who may be good prospects, people who may be looking for specific odds in a game, or maybe even information around how to bet on... how to place bets or more general questions. So there's that layer, which is your more editorial strategy focused on answering questions for people that we think are going to be potentially valuable audiences. And then social, right... social is going to have two pieces, right? You'll have social referral play, which you're going to take your lists and move people in, which is the same general strategy of, what's the content that you could extract the right prospects into pages that you could then convert, or the engagement side where we're building Instagram pages or Twitter pages around SportsLine or around other brands that may engage people. And then you're collecting them and building that engagement there for future conversions. So there's no silver bullet. Unfortunately, this media landscape, you have to go platform by platform, medium by medium and just think about the distribution points.

Jason Felger: We keep talking about betting, but we haven't talked about specifically, the wagers. Most of the U. S., when you say," Betting on sports..." they think of pregame wagering.

Jeffrey Gerttula: Yeah.

Jason Felger: And that's been the historical norm that we've all gotten used to. But obviously, not just because of the technology, but a lot of different reasons... in- game wagering is a real thing and in- game wagering in the U. S. is definitely growing in popularity. So what's your view on, in- game versus pre- game, and then does that change your strategy around content or interactivity as we potentially keep moving more towards actual in- game wagering.

Jeffrey Gerttula: Yeah. Yeah, no, it's coming, it's going to be big. The question is just how big. You just think of Europe and how it almost just took the whole thing over from the standpoint of, they also bet a lot on soccer and soccer may have its own unique aspects to in- game betting that may just translate differently to such... the NFL here. But with that, no, we're planning and moving like it's coming, and when it comes, it's going to be a monster. And yeah, that impacts your content strategy, your data strategy,

Yelena Shkolnik: Yeah. Maybe a quick follow up there, because of... digital is a platform you have, so much flexibility. When in- play does show in a really material way, people can engage with that content in a very different way that can contribute to the way that they're betting and-

Jeffrey Gerttula: Yeah.

Yelena Shkolnik: ...have you thought about it? And what does that mean for you guys?

Jeffrey Gerttula: Yeah. No. Yeah. It's just a... I think it's a question of where will people want that information? And again, if you put it... Well, we have gambling broadcasts, right? Or opt in ones where people want that information and they want it next to the TV. I don't know. Maybe. We're going to... I'll tell you, people already tested it and we're going to find out, or will those audiences ultimately prefer that to be on their phones. And then for us, where do we fit in on all that? So I know one of the places we're going to fit in, and that's where we're focused. One of the places we're definitely going to fit in is as a content provider and a voice where we want to be providing you smart information around, what do we think the right bets are and what do our models say? And what do our experts say? And how do we translate that into common sports language where someone's..." This is what... The first half was an anomaly. This is what's going to happen in the second half." Or really breaking down..." Yeah, the Patriots adjust well at the half. And they'll..." I don't know if those are just personal as inaudible points out, but we're part of that conversation, which is the language of sports fans. That's what people talk about. Your on Twitter, they're always talk... it's the same thing. You're just... We're creating content and we're creating engagement around it, around our channels, our talent, we're owning the eyeballs, we're in that conversation. And that... we will definitely be part of that. Now the rest of it we'll see what audience takes too.

Jason Felger: Jeff, we always like to just wrap things up with some advice for founders and entrepreneurs. As you think about sports betting, you think about sports content, are there technologies that you're not seeing that you think should exist? Are there opportunities that you think are worth going after and highlighting or paying attention to, and just maybe sharing if you've got any thoughts on given your perspective if you're a founder, you're an entrepreneur that's thinking about this space or in it... opportunities or things that you think would make a lot of sense.

Jeffrey Gerttula: There's so many different ways to attack the space right now. And it's undergoing so much transformation. There are probably hundreds of great ideas right now that I would never even be able to get my head around from where I sit. But I think if you can come to the table and you solve one of the few problems, right? It's... I look at the internet... it's... there's distribution problems. If you have a plan to grow content distribution at its core, that in of itself is a business model. We've had other ones where it was about the content. And this is more for the content visionaries out there where you can build stuff, if you legitimately have an angle that you can connect with audiences. And that's obviously very different. But there's a lot of different ways to do it, right? You can go distribution, you can go talent, you can go tech... there's a lot of ways because it is all up in the air right now. It is crazy time right now, I feel like in-

Jason Felger: Yeah. It's a great-

Jeffrey Gerttula: go get it.

Jason Felger: ...framework. It's good level setting as well. So I want to thank you, Jeff, for joining us. Yelena, thank you so much for the time today.

Speaker 1: Thank you so much for listening to this month's episode of The Jump Off Point, an original podcast by Jump Capital. If you have an idea for the show or know of someone who would make a great guest, please contact podcast @ jumpcap. com.


Our first episode on sports betting is here! The industry is rapidly changing. Accessibility to sports betting is expanding, resulting in different audience bases. Today, Jason is joined by Yelena Shkolnik and Jeff Gerttula, GM & EVP of CBS Sports & CBS Interactive. Yelena will take us through how the sports betting industry has changed, trends we see happening, and where the industry could go. Jeff discusses sports betting from a media viewpoint and shares engagement opportunities as sports betting grows and evolves. Listen now for insight into how the audience expansion in sports betting opens up the doors for content and betting engagement.

Today's Host

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Jason Felger

|Partner, Head of Platform

Today's Guests

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Yelena Shkolnik

|Partner at Jump Capital
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Jeff Gerttula

|EVP and GM, CBS Sports Digital