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Volume 26 No. 113
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Acting CBS CEO Talks Sports Betting Ad Revenue, NFL Rights

Acting CBS CEO Joe Ianniello said that the network sees sports betting as a "'huge' and growing business opportunity as it gets legalized in more states, particularly in terms of advertising revenue," according to Georg Szalai of the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Speaking at the Credit Suisse Annual Communications Conference in N.Y. yesterday, Ianniello said, "It's an advertising play for us. It's digital advertising, the demographics are very favorable, so we are leaning into that with our trusted brands -- CBS Sports HQ, CBSN, ET Live." Ianniello said with having CBS stations in two of the seven states that have legalized sports betting, it is "already generating millions of dollars of advertising revenue for us." He added, "As that expands, there is a huge advertising opportunity, particularly in local advertising. But then more broadly, with our platforms, CBS Sports HQ or our CBS Sports cable network, and we own Sportsline, as (betting) becomes legal state by state, I do think there is a bigger platform opportunity. And we are having multiple discussions with several partners to make sure we get the opportunity right" (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 6/5).

NOT GOING ANYWHERE: DEADLINE's Dade Hayes noted Ianniello also "touched on topics like international streaming growth, NFL rights and relations" with the net's new BOD. Ianniello said that NFL broadcasts will "remain a priority" for the net. He said, "We certainly anticipate retaining the NFL. Their core audience is broadest." He added while the league has "had choices for decades" when it comes to media partners, fans have "never seen a Super Bowl on a cable network." Ianniello: "They understand the broad reach. We'll be partners for a long time" (DEADLINE.com, 6/5).