Daily Fantasy Sports Ads: Quick Rise, Fast Fall

DraftKings was supposed to spend $500 million in advertising on ESPN through a multiple-year blockbuster deal. Now? All bets are off, according to reports.

Just weeks after the actual deal started -- in January -- DraftKings and ESPN’s parent, Walt Disney, dissolved their deal

Don’t cry too much; ESPN got something for its money. In the fourth quarter of 2015, it and other TV networks took in huge amount of advertising revenue from daily sports fantasy operators -- DraftKings and FanDuel, in particular.

DraftKings spent $93.9 million in national TV for the last quarter of 2015, according to FanDuel was even a bit better -- $131.2 million for the last three months of 2015.

Now amid a number of legal challenges in some 21 states to the business of “fantasy sports,” as well as more than a few dozen potential lawsuits in the works, Disney has had enough.  



Disney isn’t alone. Fox was also a big investor -- $160 million in DraftKings, an investment that has already lost more than half its value already according to SEC filings. Time Warner/Turner Broadcasting and  Comcast’s NBC Sports Ventures.
have investments in FanDuel.

Both sports fantasy companies also partnered with major sports leagues as well as NFL team owners.

Fantasy sports operators let people choose the own teams and place “entry fees.” Seemingly players have the “skill” to figure out how players will perform on a specific day. Amazing.

Don’t worry about ESPN too much. Much of that future fantasy sports ESPN ad inventory -- especially premium TV inventory in high profile events -- will get resold quickly.

Some believe daily sports fantasy games will make a comeback. But with  million dollar investments and/or advertising deals? Use your "skills" to figure that one out.

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