Saturday, May 19, 2018

Report: Sports Betting Expected To Boost Advertising

Media companies think they may have hit the jackpot with the Supreme Court’s ruling on sports betting, reports The Wall Street Journal.

On Monday, the Supreme Court struck down a federal law that prohibited sports gambling, paving the way for states to make their own decisions about allowing legal betting on athletic events.

The ruling has media and advertising executives envisioning a world in which more viewers tune into live televised sporting events and follow more sports coverage in great detail. Those more engaged fans would then attract more advertising dollars, including the marketing spending of gambling companies themselves, executives say.

Media companies are already tossing around programming ideas and ways to incorporate more stats and betting options on their digital platforms. The change could even inflate the value of leagues, teams, sports media properties and sports TV rights deals, executives say.

Turner, the Time Warner Inc. division that includes TBS and TNT, could use its Bleacher Report site as a platform to program shows and stats for bettors and potentially partner with third-party online betting platforms, a person familiar with the company’s thinking said.

ESPN/SportsCenter host Scott Van Pelt, who has a bettors-focused “Bad Beats” segment on his show, said that big TV networks could potentially create leagues, similar to fantasy sports. Networks could also program to bettors, for example, in the hour before NFL games when there are fewer people watching, he said.

CBS’s chief advertising revenue officer, Jo Ann Ross, said that if gambling is legal, it could lead to the reintroduction of the ad-spending bonanza from fantasy-sports companies like FanDuel and DraftKings.

The daily-fantasy sports companies at one point were a huge source of ad revenue for sports networks but have pulled back amid scrutiny over whether they violated gambling laws. (The companies insist their products don’t violate gambling laws because the games involve skill.)

FanDuel spent $189 million on U.S. advertising in 2015, a figure that fell to just $10.7 million in 2016, according to Kantar Media. After spending $247 million in 2015, DraftKings only shelled out $18.4 million in 2016. Those figures were up slightly in 2017.

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