BetRivers Dives Further Into Media Business With New Detroit-Focused Podcast

Written By Derek Helling on September 15, 2021

The line that was once distinct and wide between media companies and sportsbooks continues to dissipate. Rush Street Interactive has expanded its in-house content offerings with a new collection of web productions, including a BetRivers Detroit podcast.

Although the benefit of the content for RSI will be another platform for pushing BetRivers Casino and BetRivers Sportsbook, it could be of use for Michigan sports betting applications as well. The local talent involved lends toward there being some value for consumers.

The details of the BetRivers Detroit podcast

The show, BetRivers Detroit CityCast,  is now available on several audio and video outlets, such as:

  • Apple Podcasts
  • Spotify
  • VSiN.com (live video stream)

Dan Leach, radio host on 97.1 The Ticket of CBS Radio Detroit, hosts the show. New episodes premiere every weekday. The show promises “daily analysis on betting updates and news surrounding the Lions, Tigers, Red Wings, Pistons, as well as Michigan, Michigan State, and the entire Big Ten.”

It’s one of four new CityCasts that RSI has initiated in various markets. Right now, the other three are Chicago, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. Current plans include expansion into Denver, Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington, D.C.

“These CityCasts are locally focused, which is consistent with our strategy to offer our players hometown sportsbooks, and offer authentic and credible breakdowns specific to each host’s home market,” said Richard Schwartz, CEO of RSI. “The hosts’ expert analysis will assist BetRivers and PlaySugarHouse bettors in making knowledgeable sports betting decisions, whether they’re experienced or brand new to the action.”

Although the content is certainly not devoid of references to the sportsbook and its promotional offers, it’s still more than a glorified commercial. And yet, some publicity for BetRivers certainly can’t hurt the brand in MI.

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BetRivers’ place in the MI sports betting hierarchy

If BetRivers wants to be the market leader as far as MI sportsbooks go, it definitely has its work cut out. In July of this year, six other MI sports betting apps saw more handle. In fact, isolating the online handle alone paints a daunting picture.

The current market leader, FanDuel Sportsbook, collected more than $54.5 million in online wagers that month. BetRivers’ same figure came to around $2.6 million. In terms of win, FanDuel did more than 37 times that of BetRivers’ revenue ($8.4 million, compared with $224,089) in July.

FanDuel, by the way, also has its own Michigan branded content. Mike Sullivan, former producer of Mike Valenti’s popular drive-time sports radio show on 97.1, hosts a FanDuel infomercial at 11 a.m. Sundays on WXYZ Channel 7 called the F”anDuel Sportsbook Show with Sully”, giving some betting information and insight with guests.

DraftKings Sportsbook also sponsors the Detroit Sports Bettors podcast, hosted by Sully, former 971er Kyle Bogey and Matt Kowalis, who also provides regular gambling insight on the DSB Facebook page.

Meanwhile, BetRivers likely isn’t looking to jump up into the upper tier with FD and DK overnight. That might be unrealistic long-term, too. BetRivers has no retail presence in the Detroit area as FanDuel does. MotorCity Casino Hotel houses the brick-and-mortar FanDuel Sportsbook.

This is part of a campaign to increase that market share, along with presences on Pistons broadcasts and other statewide advertising. BetRivers was just a few hundred thousand dollars shy of FoxBet Sportsbook‘s figures for July. This new content might be enough to bump BetRivers up one spot.

If the BetRivers Detroit podcast can do the work of a retail sportsbook as far as brand awareness goes, the future looks better for the brand in Detroit. At the very least, MI sports fans have another source of regular, tailored information about sports betting.

Photo by Rush Street Interactive
Derek Helling Avatar
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Chicago, IL. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law. Recently, he has written about the expanded gambling industry in Michigan, including online sports betting, online casinos, and the cornerstone land-based casino market.

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