Betting The NFL Season: Even Stronger Sports Gambling TV Ad Spend?

With the NFL season about to begin in a few weeks, sports gambling marketing is poised for more sharp gains as a growing TV advertising category. 

This has continued even in non-NFL sports airing periods.

Looking at the most recent six-month period -- from January 1 through August 18 -- national TV airings have tripled versus the same time period a year ago -- now at 39,300 airings versus 12,900 airings over the same time period a year ago, according to estimates from EDO Ad EnGage. 

Impressions have also tripled, to 13.5 billion impressions versus 5.6 billion a year ago. 

For that period, national TV spend is 46% higher to an estimated $140.8 million. Three of the biggest sports gambling brands for that period are FanDuel ($59.8 million); DraftKings ($41.9 million); and BetMGM ($20.00 million).

The biggest period for sports gambling remains the NFL-focused fourth-quarter period.

A year ago, between September 2022 and January 2023 -- a period featuring NFL regular-season and playoff games -- national TV ad spend hit a massive $273.6 million -- up 57% versus the same period the year before, when it was $174.3 million.

During this period, the top four major sports gambling brands were FanDuel ($118.4 million), DraftKings ($79.8 million), BetMGM ($37.7 million), and Caesars Sportsbook ($20.5 million).

Major NFL-focused TV networks and platforms also benefited during that period: CBS ($51.7 million), Amazon Prime Video ($44.2 million), Fox ($43.5 million), NBC ($31.9 million), ESPN ($22.5 million) and ABC ($15.5 million).

Looking to fuel this category even more, ESPN recently struck a 10-year $2 billion branding advertising deal with Penn Entertainment to rebrand its online sports gambling operations, now to be called ESPN Bet. 

The new branded sportsbook will replace Penn's Barstool Sportsbook.

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