A brand new online TV channel devoted to sports betting is set to launch next week in what promises to be an exciting development for online gambling.
Fronted by ex Sky Sports presenter Alan Bentley and model Simone Thomas, The Betting Channel will be screened from December 16 every morning between 9 and 11.30 six days a week. Along with a panel of sporting experts and betting tipsters including Alan Brazil, Perry Groves and Mark Winstanley, the presenters will discuss all the latest sports news from a betting perspective.
In association with betting partner SIS, who have been heavily involved with BBC and ITV Sport outside broadcast for a number of years, thebettingchannel.tv will be streamed live on its own website and, free of charge, on the sites of its three partner bookmakers.
The project marks an interesting development for online sports gambling because although horseracing betting is covered every Saturday morning on Channel 4’s The Morning Line and breaking sports news enjoys extensive daily coverage from Sky Sports News there has been no dedicated sports betting programme to speak of since the demise of Sports Exchange, which appeared on satellite television last year. This is very much an standalone online operation.
The idea has been a long-standing brainchild of Bentley, who set up his own production company in 2001, and has spent the last two years negotiating the streaming rights, raising the funding of the project from private investors and bringing the hitherto unnamed partner bookmakers on board. Finally next Wednesday the channel will be aired for the first time.
“The Betting Channel is The Morning Line meets Sky Sports News meets sports betting,” Bentley told Calvinayre.com. “I was adamant that it had to appear on the online platform because that’s where the future of broadcasting lies. Increasingly, people are watching television and betting via their PCs, laptops and mobile phones.
“The idea is to cover three aspects: previewing upcoming sporting events, commenting on in-running markets and covering breaking news. This will enable bookmakers to have a platform to give their odds on sporting events as soon as they happen. For example, when Jose Mourinho got sacked from Chelsea, the Racing Post ran a story the next day quoting him at 10/1 to leave the club.
“The immediacy of our offering will be attractive because punters will be able to obtain continually updated sports news and we’ll then be able to viewers with odds on such-and-such an outcome as soon as the news has broken. It’s a pretty compelling proposition.”
Although Bentley wants to keep the three partner bookmakers involved under his hat for the time being, they will certainly stand to benefit hugely from the deal. As well as engaging existing customers with an enhanced offering, the betting firms will also attract new customers, who will be encouraged to register to their websites in order to have free live access to the show – not to mention the Betting Channel girls, whom Bentley has described as “the best looking girls in London”.
But what about those slow days in January when there’s no European football and the only sport to speak of is a couple of races at Fontwell and Recar?
“Football is now a seven days a week operation,” replied Bentley. “There are matches on almost every day of the week nowadays – from the Champions League to League Two, from Serie A to La Liga in Spain. And we will also cover ongoing events in other sports including golf, rugby, darts and racing.”
Bentley added that thebettingchannel.tv will also include blogs, news and forums for punters to exchange information or discuss bets. All things considered this venture is a welcome and exciting development for sports betting coverage.