It’s pretty easy to assume there would be a link between betting on sports and watching sports. It’s much better to be able to prove it with numbers.
Deloitte Insights, a research and analysis firm that provides insights for business and governments, has published its Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Predictions 2019. In it, Deloitte researchers dive deep into the relationship between sports betting and TV sports viewership, with valuable insights into what this could mean for both industries.
Although live TV viewership as a whole continues to decline, Deloitte notes that sports viewership is declining at a much slower pace. Furthermore, if a person watches more sports, they are more likely to be affluent, and thus attractive to TV advertisers.
Sports betting, a $169 billion a year industry in the U.S., is seen as the cure to declining TV sports viewership. The study notes that of the 1,063 people surveyed, those who bet on sports were much more likely to watch sporting events, with those betting at least once a week watching more than twice as much sports than those who don’t bet at all.
This provides a huge incentive for the sports leagues to push for more regulated sports betting in their respective states. Even if they don’t partner up with casinos to directly bring in funds, if leagues can help promote more sports betting, they will indirectly help their TV ratings. As the study notes, “any measures that allow Americans to gamble more easily or more often could have an effect – likely a positive effect – on TV sports watching.” An increase in viewership, one would have to imagine, will be a huge benefit to the leagues TV broadcast negotiations are up for renewal.
It’s not surprising then, with the industries and wealth at stake, that the U.S. Senate has already started drafting laws to help regulations along at the federal level, with the leagues cheering them on from the sidelines.
The study closes out with this though, “It’s hard to escape the conclusion that companies that make and distribute TV sports should talk more to, partner with, or even acquire those companies that are involved with sports betting.” With the incentives on both sides being so high to keep this money train rolling.