Washington Wizards to Offer Sports Gambling Broadcasts. Will My Attention Span Allow It?

ESPNThe future of sports-betting-infused game broadcasts will be on display Friday, when the Washington Wizards host the Milwaukee BucksNBC Sports Washington Plus will produce an alternate broadcast for the Bucks-Wizards game that will feature a free-to-play predictive contest with a $500 prize, along with real-time sports-betting data and statistics that will be displayed on-screen throughout the broadcast. 

The predictive contest, “Predict the Game,” will ask approximately 30 questions throughout the game, such as: “Will Wizards forward Trevor Ariza score 10 or more points in the first half?” In addition, odds, point spreads and over/unders will be shown on broadcast graphics.

Inject this into my veins.

The only problem I can see with this is I already spend 75% of my time watching a game looking at Twitter. I can literally be looking up stats about the game, chirping opposing fans, or just tweeting out videos like the one of the Bears mascot literally dying on the field.

But that speaks to a larger issue with people as a whole; massive fragmentation of attention. This is the one area where Millennials really *are* the worst, albeit with good intentions.

We all try and do as many things as possible at once. We are masters of multitasking. We grew up with video games that required you to sneak past 20 armed guards, snipe a moving target’s face off from half a mile away, then escape an enemy base, all while collecting the necessary pieces of intel and disabling communications for enemy reinforcements. So anytime someone’s mom tries to tell me that video games are bad for kids I tell them to KICK ROCKS. Video games are the REASON I am able to focus on so many different objectives and deliverables all at once.

However, the downside of that is with my attention being pulled in so many directions I simply cannot sit down and do just one thing anymore. I can’t even tell you the last time I sat down and watched an entire game without picking up my phone or laptop. I guess high school? But even then you were IM-ing your buddies. It’s honestly like I graduated to better drugs because while in hindsight AIM wasn’t that great, I *still* get a rush of dopamine to the brain when I see this:

So am I excited for a gambling focused broadcast? Hell yes, in fact I’ve said for years that NFL games need to have alternative broadcasts featuring just a couple of guys f-bombing the coaches for bad decisions in between play-by-play. It would be like watching a game with your buddies, provide a little levity to sporting events that are already too serious at times, and ratchet up the entertainment value all at the same time. Would you rather watch that or Dan Fouts trying to remember where he left his keys?

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