Sports betting hasn't made a big impact on TV ratings for sporting events.

  • States have begun to legalize sports betting for almost two years now.
  • Ratings for various sports leagues have not seen too much of an increase in viewership.
  • It does not seem like more legal sportsbooks increase viewership for sports.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. โ€“ Legal sports betting has gained popularity in the past two years but that does not mean that television ratings are increasing.

A Slight Increase

The end of the NFL season is here and many fans are preparing for the Super Bowl. Bets are being placed in sportsbooks all over the country on the biggest game of the year. Many bets were placed throughout the season, but that does not mean more people were watching each game.

Throughout this regular NFL season, viewership had an average five percent more viewers. This is likely due to the fact that more states have legalized sports betting. Afterall, NFL betting is one of the most popular leagues to wager on for sports bettors.

Viewership Down In Other Places

Although sports betting is relatively established, that does not mean that more people are watching sports. There are a good number of sports bettors that place a bet and do not even watch the game. These bettors just wait for the result of the game and pick up their cash if they have won.

This is especially true for sports that have a relatively long regular season.

Although the regular season of the NBA is underway, viewership is low so far. This is despite the increased range of legal sports betting. NBA viewership is down around 20 percent across many broadcast stations.

Can other sports and events like Esports challenge the NFL for ratings supremacy? Will wagering on womenโ€™s sports have an impact on TV contracts increasing their piece of the pie?

Although viewership tends to increase as the regular season reaches towards its end, many expected that sports betting would increase viewership. This has proven to not be the case so far.

But it is important that only a select few states have legal sports betting and fewer have active sportsbooks. It is now an entirely new year and more states are looking to legalize sports wagering in 2020. Only time will tell if more legal sports betting states will increase viewership for the sports leagues.

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