Now that the Supreme Court has opened the floodgates for legal sports gambling across the country, sports networks are expected to make a financial windfall on ads. One media analyst says networks like CBS Sports Network, ESPN, FS1 and FS2, and NBCSN are expected to reap the benefits.
Morgan Stanley media analyst Ben Swinburne says with Fox expected to depend heavily on sports once it sells off its entertainment assets, it should see some dividends from sports gambling ads. He says that the “New Fox” could see a gain of more than 2% in ad revenue thanks to the betting commercials. Swinburne predicts that CBS could see upwards of a 1.5% increase.
Swinburne is quite optimistic that sports gambling ad revenue could reach $5 billion by the year 2025 or, perhaps in a best case scenario, as much as $10 billion.
With sports networks looking to add gambling-themed shows, it would be a natural progression to find gambling-centric ads to help support those programs. With states like Delaware, New Jersey, and Rhode Island ready to allow legal sports betting as soon as this year (if they haven’t already), networks hope to reach the avid gambler in order to tap into a growing market.
But not all analysts agree with Swinburne’s rosy forecast. Brian Wiesel of Pivotal Research Group disagrees with Swinburne, saying it’s difficult to predict if sports betting ads will make an impact on the networks and if potential advertisers will jump at the opportunity right now.
However, we saw how gambling-centric ads could take off in 2015 when the daily sports fantasy market dominate commercial breaks thanks to huge buys from DraftKings and FanDuel. The DFS market was considered to be another form of sports betting and a number of states stepped in either to regulate it or shut it down altogether.
DraftKings is already looking to offer legal sports betting and perhaps return to TV with a vengeance. Back in 2015, DraftKings and FanDuel combined for $400 million in advertising. This year, they’ve spent far less. However, that could change soon with football season fast approaching.
With sports betting about to be welcomed with open arms in several states, the networks are also anticipating to open their doors to gambling ads and that could mean tens of millions of dollars in additional revenue.