US concerns grow over promotion of fantasy sports products

TVadvertConcerns are mounting in the US regarding the increased coverage and promotion of daily fantasy sports (DFS) products throughout national TV broadcast networks.

US sports viewers have witnessed a surge in advertisements promoting DFS brands in the build up to the start of the NFL 2015/16 season (start date 10 September). Labelled as a key operating period for the sector, US sports broadcasters have all recorded increased ad-spend by DFS operators as they seek to boost in new customers and revenues.

With almost non-stop promotion of DFS products on broadcasters ESPN, FOX and CBS, US media critics have pinpointed to two particular concerns regarding DFS increased coverage.

USA Today drew concerns regarding in-program content on the ESPN network promoting DFS feature “cover alerts” which resembled sports betting functionalities. The news source noted that fantasy sports promotions and its terminology are closely mirroring that of sports betting, a practice which should not be allowed under current US gambling regulations.

Further advertising concerns have been directed towards the promotion of DFS products on US college sports programing. Collegiate sports governing body, NCAA has stated that it has seen an increase in DFS products during the broadcasting of its amateur leagues.

The NCAA has been the most vocal opponent of sports betting in the US, stating that the activity threatens the integrity of national sports at all levels.

Media commentators have detailed that it highly unlikely that the association will pull its programing from US broadcasters due to DFS advertising, but will most likely ask for an advertising review by US courts into DFS promotions.

Last week US media analyst ISpot.tv detailed that DFS operator DraftKings had recorded the highest ad-spend in the build up to NFL 2015/16 with the operator spending a staggering $24 million in coverage, beating the likes of AT&T and Warner Bros.

In July DraftKings secured a major marketing coup, by announcing that it had committed a long term advertising partnership with ESPN Disney, the US’ largest sports TV broadcast network. The partnership was valued at $250 million spend for a period of two years.

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