Q1 Online Gambling Ad Spend Sharply Higher On Local TV

Rising legalization of online gambling in many states has resulted in major TV advertising growth -- especially on local TV stations.

The online gambling on local TV advertising totaled $154 million in the first-quarter 2021, according to Nielsen — up exponentially from $10.7 million for the same time period in 2019.

Given the market-by-market legalization on online gambling on a state-by-state basis, local TV is a logical place for that spend. It represents 80% of online gambling ads.

Nielsen says other media trails far behind.

During the first quarter, national digital media was at $24.8 million; broadcast network TV, $6 million; outdoor media, $5.6 million; local radio, $3.9 million; national cable TV, $1.2 million; network radio, $488,000; local newspapers, $190,000; and Spanish cable TV, $35,000.



While sports programming tallies the biggest reach of sports bettors at 77%, Nielsen says most of the online gambling advertising goes into local TV news, which has a 53% reach of sports bettors.

Nielsen reasons that local TV stations have much more control and volume when it comes to local TV news advertising inventory than sports content.

Local TV news programming had a 40% share of online gambling ad spend in the first quarter; variety/talk programming had a 24% share. After these two, sports programming has a 13% share.

The two biggest individual online gambling marketers, according to Nielsen Ad Intel service, are Fan Duel, at $57.7 million in local TV spot spend, and DraftKings, at $43.6 million.

Farther down the list are BetMGM, at $24.9 million; BetRivers, $9.3 million; Betfair, $6.7 million; PokerStars, $5.8 million; and other brands, $5.6 million.

BIA Advisory Services estimates online gambling advertising will rise to $587 million on the local spot TV by 2024.

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