If you’re sick of the DraftKings and FanDuel ads this year, you will find one event that will be totally Daily Fantasy-free. You won’t see them on the College Football Playoff semifinals, the Cotton and Orange Bowls on New Year’s Eve and the National Championship Game on January 11, 2016. Both ESPN and the College Football Playoff have agreed that the games will be off-limits to the sites.
And after the NCAA already told its broadcast partners including CBS and ESPN that it won’t allow daily fantasy ads on its various championship broadcasts, it makes college athletics in essence a no-fly zone for the sites.
This all comes as daily fantasy has come under legal scrutiny with a judge agreeing to block DraftKings and FanDuel from doing business in New York while the state determines whether the sites are illegal:
BREAKING: NY Judge blocks DraftKings and FanDuel from offering #DFS contests in NY for duration of case; grants preliminary injunction to AG
— Daniel Wallach (@WALLACHLEGAL) December 11, 2015
While the NCAA has no jurisdiction on the College Football Playoff, it shows how uncomfortable college athletics has become with daily fantasy. The NCAA has banned athletes from gambling and partaking in daily fantasy which it also considers gambling. And various college conferences asked the DFS sites not to offer games involving college football which they refused.
Last season’s College Football Playoff semifinals and National Championship Game were the most-watched programs in cable television history and they brought huge audiences to ESPN. This season’s semifinals will air on New Year’s Eve and may not have as many people watching as the games that aired on January 1 of this year, but they will still command a big viewership. Even so, they won’t have daily fantasy ads.
In addition to the semifinal games and National Championship, the Fiesta Bowl and Peach Bowl which are part of the College Football Playoff semifinal rotation will not air daily fantasy ads so DraftKings and FanDuel will find themselves off TV for some high profile college football games.
Both sites have reduced the number of ads seen since the beginning of the fall, but they’re still being seen on various platforms.