New Report: NFL TV Partners, Advertisers Primed to Prosper from Legalized Sports Betting

Number of NFL regular season viewers who bet on sports could jump from 40 million to 57 million if sports betting were legalized, says Nielsen Sports research commissioned by the American Gaming Association; Failed federal government ban stands in the way

Press Release | 09.15.2016
New Report: NFL TV Partners, Advertisers Primed to Prosper from Legalized Sports Betting

Washington, DC – A federal government ban on sports betting is depriving NFL TV partners and advertisers of significantly greater revenue through higher ratings and uniquely engaged viewers, according to a new Nielsen Sports study released today by the American Gaming Association (AGA). The research, which surveyed U.S. adults who participated in various forms of sports betting in the past year, shows:

  • Betting Drives Massive Ratings for NFL Games. Adults who bet on the NFL watched 19 more games in the 2015 regular season than adults who didn’t bet at all – more than an entire season’s worth – and generated more than double the ratings across the major broadcast and cable networks compared to average American adults. Sports bettors consist of 25% of the total NFL audience but watch 47% of all minutes of NFL regular season games. (VIEW INFOGRAPHIC)
  • Millions More Viewers Would Bet on Games. If sports betting were legalized, the number of NFL 2015 regular season viewers who bet on sports would jump from 40 million to 57 million. Bettors would consist of 36% of the total NFL audience and consume 56% of all minutes viewed of NFL regular season games. (VIEW INFOGRAPHIC)
  • Sports Bettors Are Highly Valuable to Advertisers. At any time of any day of the week – including when games are not airing – sports bettors watch more TV programming for longer periods of time than non-bettors. Further, 65% say they are more likely to discuss the game via social media when they place a bet on it. (VIEW INFOGRAPHIC)

“The federal government ban on sports betting is failing miserably,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the AGA. “Broadcasters and advertisers who desire highly engaged viewers would reap the benefits of shifting tens of millions of sports bettors from the $150 billion underground betting market to a legal, transparent environment that’s similar to what exists in Nevada, across Europe and elsewhere around the world.”

Nielsen’s research also found that betting on game outcomes is twice as popular as daily fantasy sports (DFS) among avid sports fans, by a 51% to 26% margin. Among NFL-specific bettors, 46% bet on a single game outcome versus 28% who played DFS. Additionally, as an indication of the types of fans bettors are, 44% of NFL bettors (versus only 10% of non-bettors) consider themselves avid fans, the most coveted group among sports leagues.

Ahead of the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers kicking off the 2016 NFL season last week, AGA estimated that fans across the country will bet $90 billion on NFL and college football games this season. However, $88 billion – or 98 percent – of all bets will be made illegally thanks to a federal government ban signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1992.

While Delaware, Oregon and Montana permit some form of legal sports betting, the vast majority of traditional sports wagering occurs in Nevada. But legal sports betting pales in comparison to the amount spent illegally on sports wagering. Illegal sports betting funds criminal activities, takes advantage of consumers and fails to protect the integrity of America’s favorite pastimes.

AGA is building a broad coalition that will determine whether a rational alternative to current sports betting law exists. Such an alternative could include strict regulation, rigorous consumer protections and robust tools for law enforcement to eliminate illegal sports betting and strengthen the integrity of games. For more information, visit SportsBettingInAmerica.com.

Methodology: Nielsen conducted a nationally representative survey to 1,000 respondents, ages 18+, in order to understand the betting habits of the general population.  An additional 500 pre-qualified NFL bettors were also surveyed to ensure proper samples were met. Data fusion techniques were leveraged to combine the results of the surveys with Nielsen’s National TV Panel in order to analyze the viewing behavior of the survey respondents. The data fusion used demographical, geographical, viewing consumption and other relevant data characteristics to pair respondents of the commissioned survey to respondents of the Nielsen’s National TV Panel.

About AGA: The American Gaming Association is the premier national trade group representing the $240 billion U.S. casino industry, which supports 1.7 million jobs in 40 states. AGA members include commercial and tribal casino operators, suppliers and other entities affiliated with the gaming industry. It is the mission of the AGA to be the single most effective champion of the industry, relentlessly protecting against harmful and often misinformed public policies, and paving a path for growth, innovation and reinvestment.

AmerGamingAssn @AmerGamingAssn

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May 26, 2017