Pro leagues join TV networks to form coalition on sports betting advertising

Seven U.S. professional sports leagues are joining two TV networks to form a coalition to help ensure a responsible approach to sports betting advertising, the partners announced in a joint statement Wednesday.

The National Football League, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, NASCAR, National Basketball Association, Women’s National Basketball Association and National Hockey League will partner with NBCUniversal and FOX to form the Coalition for Responsible Sports Betting Advertising.

The alliance is a voluntary association between the leagues and media entities committed to ensuring advertising for sports betting meets certain guidelines.

“As the legalization of sports betting spreads nationwide, we feel it is critical to establish guardrails around how sports betting should be advertised to consumers across the United States,” the coalition stated in a joint statement. “Each member of the coalition feels a responsibility to ensure sports betting advertising is not only targeted to an appropriate audience but also that the message is thoughtfully crafted and carefully delivered.”

The coalition aims to ensure that sports betting should be marketed only to adults of legal betting age and should not promote irresponsible or excessive gambling. Ads should not be misleading and should be in good taste.

Additionally, publishers should have an appropriate internal review of such ads and review consumer complaints.

“FOX and FOX Sports are proud to be charter members of this broad and important coalition,” said Mike Mulvihill, FOX Sports EVP of Strategy and Analytics. “As America’s leader in live sports, we are committed to providing fans a responsible and ethical engagement with sports betting, keeping the integrity of the games and our broadcasts at the forefront at all times.”

Added David Highhill, GM of NFL Sports Betting, “Legalized sports betting offers fans another way to engage with their favorite sports, but just as we must support problem gambling prevention and resourcing, we must also remain mindful of how sports betting is presented and advertised to consumers, and this coalition should greatly aid in that cause.”

The alliance is committed to implementing and maintaining consumer protection policies around sports betting advertising.

“Layering this coalition’s work in the advertising arena on top of our efforts to promote responsible gambling and address problem gambling challenges will lead to more thoughtful planning and implementation across the board,” said Kenny Gersh, EVP of MLB Media & Business Development.

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