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Volume 25 No. 28
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Sports Betting Fallout: Ruling Could Draw More Viewers To Networks

Networks like ESPN could benefit from viewers having a more vested interest in shows
Photo: ESPN IMAGES

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision on sports betting is "likely to be a boon for media and data companies that have existing relationships with the major sports leagues," according to a front-page piece by Liptak & Draper of the N.Y. TIMES. Benefactors could include networks like ESPN, which is "likely to benefit from more fans having a more deeply vested interest in the action -- resulting in higher ratings" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/15). In Columbus, Rob Oller writes, "One measurable you can bank on is an increase in TV ratings as viewers -- who might or might not be sports fans -- tune in to track their parlays" (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 5/15). GOLF.com's Josh Sens noted gambling "fuels fan interest." Sens: "Will it get more people on the course? Maybe. But there’s little doubt that it will get more people watching" (GOLF.com, 5/14).

CUT TO THE CHASE: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Jason Gay writes gambling will have a "major impact on sports media," as there will be "tremendous demand for programming promising to give the sports gambler an advantage." There is "already plenty of that stuff with fantasy sports, but now the networks will cut to the chase and do it for genuine gambling-gambling." Gambling shows "will be popular." But it will "endanger anyone in sports media who isn’t offering an edge" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/15). NBC SPORTS BOSTON's Phil Perry wrote NFL broadcasts "could be significantly altered." The stigma "attached to doing the type of show that discusses lines, over/unders and props -- a stigma that has faded -- is now that much closer to being erased." The result "should be more opportunities for entertaining personalities to build followings, and for creative gambling-specific content to become staples for average fans" (NBCSPORTSBOSTON.com, 5/14).