Sportsbook Operators Boosted Ad Spending During Football Season
Not surprisingly, US sportsbook operators increased advertising expenditures during the ongoing 2023 football season.
From Sept. 1 through Dec. 26, sports betting advertising spending on television jumped 10% to $237.8 million, according to estimates from EDO Ad EnGage. The research firm did not note whether the increase in TV ad spending by sportsbook firms was attributable to new entrants, such as ESPN Bet and Fanatics, more expenditures by incumbents, such as DraftKings and FanDuel, or a combination of the two.
Sports gambling impressions were up 52% to a total of 20.7 billion — up from 13.6 billion a year ago, primarily due to airings more than doubling (to 59,81) versus 26,950 airings the year before,” reports Wayne Friedman for MediaPost.
The rise in TV ad spending by gaming companies during the Sept. 1 through Dec. 26 makes sense because football is the most wagered on sport in the US and several operators are looking to promote newer offerings, such as in-game wagers and same-game parlays (SGPs).
Where Sportsbook Operators Spend on Ads Is Changing
While linear TV broadcasts of sporting events and dedicated sports networks such as ESPN make for predictable avenues for sports betting advertising, that landscape is shifting.
For example, Amazon Prime’s Thursday Night Football, which is streamed, drew an estimated $41 million in ad revenue from sportsbook operators, up from $27.9 million a year earlier. Those increased expenditures arrived as fans have heavily criticized the quality of the on-field product on Thursday Night Football.
Sportsbook operators are also increasingly doling out for ads on non-sports networks, extending a theme that took shape in earnest earlier this year.
“Sports gambling TV ads have also seen a significant surge on non-sports TV networks including TBS (3,270 airings); FXX (3,010); truTV (3,130); Discovery Life Channel (2,160); and American Heroes Channel (4,960), to name a few,” noted Friedman.
Other Winners, Losers in Sportsbook Ad Spending
For the Sept. 1 through Dec. 26 period, sportsbook operators spent less on ESPN than they did in the year-earlier period, but that could be attributable to ABC also broadcasting Monday Night Football as well as some widely viewed college football games. Walt Disney Co. owns both networks.
Fox and NBC, which broadcasts Sunday Night Football, also saw reduced ad spending by sportsbook companies over the past four months. On the other hand, CBS, perhaps with some help from SEC football, proved sturdy on that front.
“For this year, CBS appears to be a steady TV network in the category, with its Sunday NFL afternoon programming at $31.9 million — coming in at second place in the category to Prime Video. CBS is virtually unchanged from $31.5 million a year ago,” concluded Friedman.
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