Virginia Area Getting Its Own Sports Betting TV Show: By The Book

Written By Dann Stupp on April 5, 2021

Washington, DC and the DMV area is the home base for By the Book, a new national sports betting show from Monumental Sports & Entertainment.

It’s the first sports-betting program for MSE. The DC-based company owns six professional franchises, including the Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards, and Washington Mystics. It also owns four venues, including DC’s Capital One Arena, which has partnered with William Hill sportsbook.

Officials say By the Book was launched in part because of the “overwhelming market interest in sports betting across the country.” More specifically, it’s capitalizing on new legal sports betting in DC and Virginia, and soon Maryland.

The show, which launched last week, features three familiar voices for DC sports fans.

By the Book time and schedule

By the Book airs:

  • Monday, Thursday, and Friday: 5 to 7 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to noon

In the coming weeks, the show will relocate permanently to Capital One Arena. There, it’ll have a state-of-the-art broadcast studio within the William Hill sportsbook retail location at the arena.

Viewers can watch via MSE’s Monumental Sports Network, an over-the-top (OTT) and direct-to-consumer platform.

The first 30 minutes of “By the Book” are available via livestream on the MSE Twitter. The full two-hour shows are available via the MSE website and mobile app. Additionally, full audio of the show is available via all of the most popular podcast platforms.

Here’s a preview of Monday’s show. As you can see, By the Book also devotes video resources to each episode:

According to MSE officials, announcements on broader distribution deals for the show are expected shortly.

By the Book’ hosts include DC sports notables

Veteran DC broadcaster Michael Jenkins hosts “By the Book.” His cohosts include:

  • Meghan McPeak: Washington Mystics and Capital City Go-Go (Wizards’ G League affiliate) play-by-play announcer
  • Monica McNutt: MSN Networks, ESPN, ACC Network, and FS1 host/analyst

“I’ve been interested in sports betting forever, but it simply took a long time for it to become commonplace and for the market to catch up with interest. It’s exciting to finally see that happen,” Jenkins, who previously hosted The Daily Line on NBC Sports, told Play Virginia. “Personally, I want us to be a destination for sports bettors and to provide cutting-edge analysis and information.

“If someone asked me what the show was about, I would tell them it’s where you can get insightful analysis about sports betting, but you’re also going to have a great time doing it.”

As for his By the Book cohosts, Jenkins thinks their familiarity and fondness for each will come through to viewers.

“It’s been fantastic working with both Meghan and Monica,” he said. “You’ll see a ton of chemistry between us, and it’s very genuine. We really do love working together. When you’re involved in a show like this, it’s a fantastic feeling when you’re big fans of the people with whom you work. And I am. They’re both terrific.”

MSE’s early embrace of sports betting

The Washington, DC sports betting market is a bit of a mess. However, with its MSE partnership, William Hill has excelled despite some obvious hurdles in the nation’s capital.

GambetDC, the official sports-betting product of the DC Lottery, operates with a near-monopoly. However, in 2020, MSE inked the first deal in the US between a sports enterprise and a sportsbook operator. As a result, William Hill now operates a retail and limited online sportsbook on the Capital One Arena premises.

The law gives MSE and William Hill just a small footprint. However, the operation already accounts for 75% of the DC sports betting market.

Zach Leonsis, Monumental Sports & Entertainment’s senior vice president of strategic initiatives, said “By the Book” is an extension of MSE’s sports-betting commitment:

“Monumental Sports & Entertainment has consistently been at the forefront in calling on greater transparency, oversight, regulation, and legislation of the sports betting industry to maintain the integrity of all sports. And the market has responded with record-breaking numbers of fans placing legal bets – and so we launch ‘By the Book’ to provide insight and lively dialogue catering to first-time bettors and long-time gamers alike”

Photo by Yuriy Chaban |
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Dann Stupp

Dann Stupp is a longtime sports journalist who’s written and edited for The Athletic, USA Today, ESPN, and other outlets. He lives in Lexington, Virginia.

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