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Transcript from CNN International on BHB....

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  • Transcript from CNN International on BHB....

    On Beverly Hills Bookie-

    O'BRIEN: If you're down on your luck in your office football pool, maybe you ought to place a bet on the get. You can go online and wager on who will score the huge exclusive interview du jour with somebody like Michael Jackson or Kobe Bryant. You can do it at

    And I am joined now from Los Angeles by its spokesman, Kevin Mortesen.

    Nice to see you, Kevin. Good evening to you.

    KEVIN MORTESEN, BEVERLYHILLSBOOKIE.COM: Good evening to you, Soledad.

    O'BRIEN: OK, the get of the moment obviously is Michael Jackson. Not official numbers yet, but you certainly have odds on who you think is going to land this interview.

    Let's go through the list. First, you have Oprah Winfrey at minus-200. That's the most likely person. Going downwards, Katie Couric. After that, Barbara Walters. After that, Diane Sawyer. You have me at even odds with Michael Jackson. So I appreciate that. I'm going to put a call into him right after the show to see if I can move my way up the list.


    O'BRIEN: Give me a sense of how you calculate these odds. MORTESEN: Well, the odds are really calculated on a couple of different fronts. No. 1, it would be the history of the journalist and the show and the type of exclusives that they've landed in the past. But, secondly, you really kind of have to look at the idea of, what is the interview subject trying to achieve? Obviously, these gets are based on people that are not doing a lot of media.

    So, if they're going to do an interview, more than likely, they are going to want to achieve some goals of their own. So you look at the audience. You look at the sympathies, so to speak. Some of these issues are better addressed by women than by men. So those things all play into it.

    O'BRIEN: Often, in fact, your list includes lots of women.

    Let's take look at some of the odds for some other big gets. For example, the journalist who you think is going to be the first person to land the Kobe Bryant exclusive interview, you say Bob Costas is leading that list there. Barbara Walters is tied with him, then Larry King of CNN, Matt Lauer after that, tied with Larry King, Katie Couric and Diane Sawyer, is your list.

    Where do you get that list from?

    MORTESEN: Well, again, the -- Bob Costas, he has a history with the NBA. He also has a history as a little more of a hard-hitting journalist than a lot of sports reporters are.

    He also has a cable format now, which might be a little bit different, where they can get into some other things. So that's why he is high on that list. And, again, these odds can change based on what the public thinks. If somebody comes in and puts down a huge bet on Barbara Walters, that is going to fluctuate the odds, just like it would on a point spread on an NFL game on Sunday.

    O'BRIEN: So, who is your -- who is betting on these? Who is going on your Web site? Is it just people in the media, so it is sort of a very inside-baseball kind of thing?

    MORTESEN: I don't think so.

    We don't really have a great demographic study on it. It hasn't been in existence for too long. I don't think it's the regular football, baseball, basketball player that's often visiting Beverly Hills Bookie. But I do think what it does is expand horizons. This is a little more cultural in nature. And part of Beverly Hills Bookie's mission, as a more entertaining site than some of the pure gaming sites, is to integrate itself into the culture.

    So we're looking to bring people in who maybe don't have an interest in sports, but might have an interest in the media. And certainly, as you're aware and all your producers there are aware, this is fierce competition, as much or more so than happens on Sundays.

    O'BRIEN: Got to give a quick question to what happened with Diane Sawyer landing Jessica Lynch. You guys were way off on that one. You had her, I guess, down six on the list.

    MORTESEN: I think she was -- if I remember correctly, I think she was fourth. She was a favorite. She was at minus-odds. So I think she was at minus-165, if I remember correctly.

    Certainly, that situation played our rather aggressively with the media and you and your colleagues. As you know, I think she did four or five interviews with several of the people who were on the list. So, it's definitely not an exact science.


    O'BRIEN: Kevin Mortesen, nice to see you. Thanks for joining us this evening. Happy Thanksgiving to you.

    MORTESEN: To you, too. Thanks so much.

    O'BRIEN: Thank you.

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