Sporting events are a widely popular form of entertainment, with broadcasts often drawing audiences in the millions. Most recently, sports betting has made its way into broadcasting, changing the viewing experience. The ongoing adoption of sports betting into mainstream entertainment provides new and unexplored avenues for revenue creation and consumer engagement. The argument is that players want to be more involved in their favorite games, and sports broadcasting can meet that need by airing wagering content. Below, we look at the intersection between sports betting and entertainment and the social and economic impacts it may have.
League Collaborations with Sportsbooks
Major sports leagues have been at the forefront of embracing sports betting, prompting media companies to do the same. The football league also approved four sportsbook operators.
The deal meant these providers could leverage their agreement with the NFL to air advertisements around secondary programming and during games. While active, no other sportsbooks or wagering providers, including these new casinos, could buy NFL media or advertising inventory.
Since the deal, the league has enjoyed many new types of content. The result has been an overall improved viewing experience because betting-adjacent or betting-focus content is more nuanced and layered. Even if their team is losing, viewers have shown they will keep watching a game if they have stakes on a given player or event within the game.
In addition to regular viewing content, viewers learn more about sports betting, sportsbooks, and betting lingo through sports betting content.
Using Broadcast to Increase Sportsbooks Brand Reach
On the sportsbooks side, merging with mainstream media provides an avenue for more brand reach and recognition. Broadcast networks have a wide consumer base. The same can be said of social media, another channel that avails an audience that may have been otherwise unreachable. After all, not everybody visits online betting sites, but almost everybody watches TV.
This reach is promising to the sports betting sector but has raised some concerns among conservative viewers. Sports betting was only recently legalized in the United States, and on a societal level, some people worry that mainstreaming it could encourage gambling.
Alternate Broadcast: Balancing Betting and Non-Betting Viewers
This is where consumer preference comes in. Media companies and leagues must be careful not to alienate their non-betting audiences with explicitly betting-oriented content. Simple additions to a broadcast like the odds are unlikely to bother audiences. However, jargon betting vocabulary and many stats and numbers might – the key becomes timing and packaging.
Many media companies collaborating with sportsbooks are offering alternate broadcast options for betting and non-betting options.
Mobile Devices: Exploring Second-Screen Channels
Another economic impact of this collaboration is the growing popularity of mobile betting platforms. Betting audiences often want to watch the game even as they keep track of their active bets. To meet this need, leagues, and media companies are working with mobile app developers and online sportsbooks to provide supplemental content on mobile devices.
Wrapping Up: What the Future Holds
Simply put, the collaboration between sports betting and mainstream entertainment is complex. Stakeholders have to tread a thin line to avoid alienating some consumers. However, thus far, successful collaborations prove that this model meets a real need. It allows sports viewers to enjoy a more engaging and immersive gaming experience while creating new revenue channels for sportsbooks, sports leagues, athletes, and media companies.