No sports and no sports betting, but VSiN pushes forward Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports · March 16, 2020 at 6:26 am Looking at the empty South Point Casino sportsbook on Friday, Brian Musburger said it was “hard to fathom.” He knew Sunday’s original plans were in the trash can. Musberger’s Vegas Stats & Information Network (VSiN) would have been center court to broadcast the wagering activity as the brackets for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament were revealed on Selection Sunday. VSiN was ready to provide its audience hours of sports betting content leading up to the bracket announcement, followed by expert analysis. D Las Vegas casino owner Derek Stevens would eventually have ambled into the VSiN studio and announced his first-round wagers, placing the more than $300,000 in bets he annually makes. Instead, there was nothing but silence. Brian Musburger “Sports will be back, and we’ll be ready to cover it when it does,” said Musburger, CEO and founder of the network that launched in February 2017. The shutdown of professional and college sports over the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak won’t silence VSiN. The suspension of the NBA and NHL seasons, the delay of Major League Baseball’s opening day and outright cancelation of March Madness all came at an inopportune moment for the expanding network. VSiN was founded on the idea of providing the sports betting audience credible information for making a more informed wager. Musburger likened VSiN to business-centric networks like CNBC and Bloomberg regarding how they handle breaking gaming industry news. And the audience is only growing. Sports betting is now legal in 16 states, with another four states and Washington D.C. expected to launch the activity sometime this year. Some 21 other states have active sports betting legislation under consideration. Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in May 2018, Americans have legally wagered more than $19 billion on sports, according to the American Gaming Association. Just last week, casinos in Illinois and Michigan launched legal sportsbooks. Then the games ended. VSiN was producing 17 hours of live programming daily. The company has partnership deals with NESN, the New England Sports Network, and New York’s MSG Network to air “Follow the Money,” a three-hour sports betting show airing daily Monday through Friday. VSiN also has an agreement with NASCAR and the Performance Racing Network. Just last month, VSiN, iHeartRadio, and the XFL had a partnership to create audio BetCasts for two games each week during the 2020 XFL 10-week regular season and two-week postseason. Last week, the XFL ended its season because of the coronavirus. Musburger said VSiN would scale back on its live programing while sports are on hiatus. The network will produce more “Betting 101” shows, air special profile stories on the “legendary characters in the sports betting industry,” and continue to cover breaking sports news. On Sunday, the NFL Players Association agreed to a new 10-year bargaining agreement and the Tennessee Titans re-signed quarterback Ryan Tannehill, removing a potential landing spot for expected free agent Tom Brady. “Obviously, there is news happening that will impact sports betting,” Musburger said. Musburger said he’s taking a lesson from the playbook of South Point owner Michael Gaughan, a VSiN backer who provides the space for the studio. During the business downturn brought about by the terrorist attacks for Sept. 11, 2001 and the Great Recession of the late 2000s, he said Gaughan remained loyal to his employees. “You have to remain loyal to your team,” he said. “That’s an important management philosophy.” Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.