The NFL lost about $4 billion in revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, the entity quickly bounced back in 2021 with the help of new TV contracts and the legal sports betting industry. Even in a pandemic, the NFL still managed to generate $10 billion in revenue in 2020. The year saw the majority of regular-season games played in empty stadiums.
The salary cap decrease in 2021 was widely expected to generate little revenue. However, with the addition of new TV contracts and the legal sports betting industry, the league is expected to generate even more revenue in the following year. According to a couple of Washington Post writers, the league is expected to receive about $270 million from the legal sports betting industry during the upcoming season.
Legal Sports Betting In The US
The US Supreme Court ruled in 2018 that states may now allow sports betting. This action came after the 1992 Professional Sports Protection Act was invalidated. The NFL became an official partner of the sports betting industry after it reached an agreement with three companies, namely DraftKings, Caesar’s, and FanDuel. As of this summer, 20 states have started implementing regulations related to sports betting.
Twenty-six states have now allowed legal sports betting, while eight more are expected to allow it during the upcoming season. Some states that have not yet allowed sports betting platforms to operate are Delaware, Florida, Louisiana, and Connecticut.
Once a firm opponent of legalized sports betting, the NFL has started to accept the revenue that it can get from the new market. In April, the NFL became the last of the four major leagues to enter into an agreement with a sports betting operator. The league can now reach out to the operators through these deals and use its various promotional and media inventory.
Rising Popularity In The US
Almost half of Americans (45.2 million) plan to bet on the NFL season this year. Sports betting is expected to generate $12 billion in revenue for the league. Sports betting has become legal in the US following a Supreme Court decision in 2018. The court overturned a federal law that prohibited states from authorizing it.
The New Orleans Saints and other NFL teams have signed multi-year deals with sports betting companies. The Arizona Cardinals and the New York Jets also have agreements with these firms. Despite the uptick in revenue, the commissioner said that the NFL’s main focus is on increasing the league’s brand awareness and building a wider fanbase.
Through the various marketing and data-sharing agreements, the NFL has reached out to more than 50 companies since 2018. The revenue boost that the league received was largely due to the decrease in attendance during the 2019 season. Sports betting operators have capitalized on the popularity of the NFL to attract new customers. Jay Snowden, the CEO of Penn National Gaming, noted that the league has a unique selling point.
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