Gambling Boosts Network Ad Sales for NFL Broadcasts

    • Sports betting has benefited CBS Sports and the NFL.
    • CBS experienced a double-digit revenue increase for ads during its NFL broadcasts.

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CBS Sports experienced double-digit year over year ad revenue increase for its NFL broadcasts. The main reason? Sports betting.

Tony Taranto, senior VP sports sales for CBS Sports, said the gaming industry is “probably the most significant new category in a generation.”

The network saw ad sales reach $609 million during last year’s regular season, per Standard Media Index. Advertisers spent an average of roughly $377,420 for a 30-second spot during games. 

Ahead of the 2021 season, gambling companies are the largest new ad sales category for the NFL since 2015.

The surge in sports betting ads comes as no surprise following recent moves by the league. 

  • The league inked its first-ever official sportsbook partnerships in April with Caesars, DraftKings, and FanDuel. The deals are worth close to $1 billion combined, and each spans five years. 
  • Last month, the NFL announced it approved FOX Bet, MGM, PointsBet, and WynnBet as sportsbook operators for the 2021 season. 
  • The league will allow six television sportsbook spots per game, with broadcasters CBS, NBC, FOX, and ESPN free to negotiate with sponsors. 

The NFL generated $2.8 billion in ad revenue during the 2020 regular season, a 3% increase year-over-year, despite the global pandemic.