Jerry Jones believes that legal sports betting will increase viewership for Dallas Cowboys games.

  • In 2018, 64 of the top 100 live programs aired on TV were NFL related.
  • Television networks ESPN, FOX, NBC, and CBS all have NFL contracts that end in 2022.
  • Sports betting is causing a surge in NFL fans nationwide.

DALLAS – Jerry Jones, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Cowboys, says sports betting is synonymous with an increase in TV network rights. Jones told Yahoo Finance that this translates to more money for the NFL.

The Legal Sports Betting Enviornment

Wagering on sports has become legalized in 13 different states, creating an influx of fans. Those that live in states where the pastime has not yet been made legal have relied heavily on the use of offshore providers to place their bets on the NFL.

After a two-year decline in ratings for football games due to the “boycott” that was incited due to player kneeling, last year saw an increase in viewership – the same year that legal sports betting began to expand.

According to a survey done by the American Gaming Association (AGA), 75% of NFL fans are more likely to watch a game on TV when they’ve wagered on it. That same survey found that 15% of the United States will be betting on the NFL this season.

“Sports betting clearly impacts fans’ enthusiasm for engaging with the NFL,” said Bill Miller, AGA president and CEO.

Jones believes that there will be a 50% increase in the amount of money that the NFL will make off of television network contracts when it comes time for renegotiations. At the moment, football brings in roughly $5 billion a year off of TV deals. By Jones’ estimation, sports betting could increase that number to $7.5 billion.

“Betting and wagering has been an integral part of the NFL for a long time… But it’s always to the benefit of the viewership. The viewership is where our numbers will increase,” said Jones to Yahoo Finance. “People will stay longer. That value is how our sport will benefit from gaming. I dare say that gaming will increase the value of television [and] of presenting our games… I dare say it will go up 50% because of the gaming concentration.”

New contracts will start being negotiated in 2020, with all contracts finalized by the end of their 2022 deadline. Sports betting legalization is on the rise, and after this NFL season, it should only increase further. It’s possible that Jones’ estimates may not be too far off by then. Either way, football season is in full swing, and there’s plenty of it to watch and legally wager on. The Cowboys will host the New York Giants for their season opener on Sunday at 4:25 p.m. EST, with the home team favored by 7.5-points.

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