The Washington Redskins will set an NFL record on Thursday night when they kick off their preseason schedule at Cleveland, but it will have nothing to do with the action on the field. The Redskins recently announced that they will offer live predictive gaming options to their fans and viewers in each of the four preseason games this fall. Other leagues around the world have tried this sort of thing in the past, but the Redskins will be the first NFL team to give it a try.
The hope is that by doing it during the four preseason games, they can iron out some of the kinks before hopefully offering this type of production during future regular-season contests.
The Washington Redskins are calling this specialized telecast, “Predict the Game,” and it will give fans the chance to win cash and other prizes during each of the four quarters of the game. The contest will be free to play, but will only be made available on NBC Sports Washington Plus. NBC Sports Washington will also be offering a normal telecast of each of the Redskins’ four preseason games for fans who prefer to watch the games in a more traditional format.
Much of the action will be centered around prop bets, such as “Which player will have more rushing yards in the first quarter?” Participants of the game will simply place a vote on which player will have the most yards in a specific quarter, and cash prizes will be awarded.
A new “game” will start up at the beginning of each quarter and will have different prop bets to pick from. The Redskins have also partnered with NBC Sports Washington to offer team-related prizes such as jerseys, memorabilia, or game tickets to anyone who is randomly selected. Fans can play along with “Predict the Game” via mobile device or a computer.
The National Football League was made aware of the Redskins’ plan and gave them the go-ahead for Thursday night. The NFL has long been against betting on their games, but they have started to partner with major sports betting companies to provide league-approved content. Sports betting is currently illegal in Washington D.C., but there has been discussion of legalizing the industry in the very near future.
The Washington Wizards actually gave the Redskins the idea when they tried a similar concept for eight games during the 2019 NBA regular season.
If all goes well for NBC Sports Washington during the four preseason games, then this is something that could be made available during regular-season contests. If and when sports betting is legalized in Washington, D.C., then the television network could partner with a sportsbook to begin taking real-money bets.
The television network is hoping that the new feature will bring in more viewership and excitement, while the Redskins are hoping that it draws them more fans.