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State of the Screens

Will ESPN Wager On Sports Betting?

By September 2, 2021No Comments

Big news: ESPN is looking to license their brand for sports betting with a rumored deal size of $3B+.


Big question #1: How many states have legalized betting on sports?


Quick answer: 32 states and the District of Columbia.

Big question #2: How large is the U.S. sports betting market?


Estimated U.S. sports betting wagers (YoY growth) according to Activate Consulting:
2017 – $5B
2) 2018 – $7B (↑ 40%)
3) 2019P – $13B (↑ 86%)
4) 2020P – $31B (↑ 138%)
5) 2021P – $63B (↑ 103%)
6) 2022P – $102B (↑ 62%)
7) 2023P – $149B (↑ 46%)


Quick math on annual sports betting per adult:

1) $63B wagered in 2021
2) 258M adults in the U.S.
3) $244 bet on sports by average U.S. adult in 2021


Big question #3: Why are media companies interested in sports betting?


Quick answer: Improved ratings/viewership and secondary sources of revenue.


Indirect sports betting revenue (YoY growth):

1) 2020P – $1.9B
2) 2021P – $5.8B (↑ 205%)
3) 2022P – $9.2B (↑ 59%)
4) 2023P – $11.7B (↑ 27%)
5) 2024P – $13.2B (↑ 13%)

Michael Beach

Michael Beach

Michael Beach is the Chief Executive Officer of Cross Screen Media, a media analytics and software company that enables marketers to plan, activate, and measure CTV and linear TV at the local level. Michael is also the founder and editor of State of the Screens, a weekly newsletter focused on video advertising that is a must-read for thought leaders in the advertising industry. He has appeared in such publications as PBS Frontline, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Axios, CNBC and Bloomberg, and on NPR’s Planet Money podcast.

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