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Sports Gambling Update, New ESPN Boss, & NCAA Financials

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Welcome to the latest episode of the Full-Court Finance podcast from Zacks Investment Research. On this week’s episode, we dive into the latest news surrounding the potentially game-changing sports gambling case, the headwinds facing ESPN’s new president, the big business of the NCAA, and much more.

New York and over a dozen other states have joined New Jersey in its fight to legalize sports betting. At the same time, the NBA and MLB have started to lobby heavily around the country to make sure they get a piece of the action.

Aside from the major professional sports leagues, gambling giants like MGM (MGM - Free Report) and William Hill WMH might benefit greatly from broader legality, while some tech companies such as Microsoft (MSFT - Free Report) and Sony (SNE - Free Report) have filed sports betting patents.

Disney (DIS - Free Report) has also been in the news recently after the company finally announced its new president. James Pitaro, who filled the vacancy left by John Skipper, joined the sports network at a rocky and highly important time.

Pitaro’s first big challenges will be rolling out the company’s new streaming platform and dealing with low viewership numbers for some its prime programming, including SportsCenter and Monday Night Football. ESPN is also reportedly in a fight with Fox (FOXA - Free Report) to bring Peyton Manning to the broadcast booth, which could help boost ratings.

This week also marks the start of one of the richest and most popular months of sports television. NCAA March Madness is sure to draw a lot of attention as people fill out brackets all over the country—but also some criticism based on the money it makes from its massive TV deals with CBS (CBS - Free Report) and Turner .

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