Jerry Jones Bullish on NFL's Future Due to Legalized Sports Gambling

Published on September 11th, 2019 1:25 am EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

Sports betting outlook in the United States.  Prognosis positive.  American football bull. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones recently raised eyebrows when he proclaimed that legalized sports gambling in the United States would ultimately result in NFL ratings climbing by 50%.

It's not hard to see why Jones is bullish on the league's TV ratings, as the numbers for the first Thursday Night Football game of the year (Bears vs Packers) were up 14% from the previous year.

In addition, states that have recently legalized sports gambling within their borders saw significantly higher viewership numbers for NFL games compared to previous years, almost certainly due to the fact that people were watching games to their completion because they had a wager on the game.

Each NFL team receives $255 million per year from their share of the league's national TV rights deal, so a 50% bump in ratings would obviously significantly increase the amount that the NFL receives from TV networks such as NBC and CBS in the future. This is the reason why Jones is so excited.


When NBA Commissioner Adam Silver championed legalized sports betting in the United States, he pointed to Europe as the reason why a change in the laws would be good for his league's business.

After all, with regular and in-play betting, ratings are always significantly higher, due to the fact that people aren't going to tune out from games in which they have an active bet.

For instance - if you bet on the Patriots -20.5 to beat the Jets at home, you are obviously going to continue to watch if the Patriots are up by 21 with 5 minutes left in the game. Without a bet on the game, you would surely lose your interest and go do something else, as there is virtually no chance of the Patriots losing their lead at that point. But with a bet on the game, you are likely going to watch until the last second.

This is why Jerry Jones is so bullish on the league's ratings - it has been proven that TV ratings are stronger in markets where there is legal sports betting.


The Dallas Cowboys are currently worth $5 billion. If legal sports betting continues to spread across the United States (and it almost certainly will), Jones and the rest of the league's owners will benefit handsomely.

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