Estimates indicate that $107 million has been funneled into the networks coffers since September 1, with almost half of that ($50.3 million) spent on national broadcast spots on the NFL Network, CBS, ESPN and Fox, according to AD AGE. Top five sports spenders and established brands Verizon and Geico which spent $21.4 million and $13.7 million respectively in 2014, were outspent by the NFL’s biggest TV backers just since September 1. For FanDuel that translates into almost 79 hours of total airtime for ads that have aired 9,463 times since the beginning of the month. While the bigger overall spender, DraftKings has deposited more cash into NFL games, spending $23.6 million on NFL broadcasts out of the $60.1 million invested into national TV ads.
Key TV targets of DraftKings and FanDuel’s advertising in addition to the NFL include $7.95 million on college football, 2.05 million on ESPN’s SportsCenter, and NBC’s “Football in America,” the Sunday pre-game show at 1.6 million. Comedy Central’s “South Park” saw $1.36 million as DraftKings highest non-sports investment maintaining its advertising target of young male viewers.
Based on money spent on individual networks, DraftKings spent $11.8 million, the bulk of their September investment on ESPN, (versus FanDuel’s $5.94) with CBS following at $9.15 million (which FanDuel’s investment nearly doubled at $15.2 million), Fox at $8.84 million, and NBC’s share at $8.03 million. The greater portion spent on ESPN is part the $250 million two-year commitment by DraftKings in exchange for category exclusiveness. The deal between ESPN and DraftKings that officially begins on January 1, 2016 effectively ends FanDuel’s advertising on ESPN and its various media offshoots. Difficult to comprehend, DraftKings ads have aired an astronomical 16,259 times within just a 29-day period.
Already into week four of the NFL season, time will tell if the two fantasy industry leaders can maintain the kind of spending they have dispersed in recent weeks.