A pivotal U.S. Supreme Court decision last May opened the door to legalized sports betting in most states, so sports fans no longer have to travel to Las Vegas to wager on March Madness or the Super Bowl. New Jersey and Delaware have already taken advantage of that ruling.
Levy said this change in the legal landscape is a boon for sports broadcasters like Turner, allowing them to capitalize on new experiences and revenue opportunities.
“Here’s what we know about sports betting,” Levy said in remarks Wednesday at the Consumer Electronics Show. “If you bet on a game, you’re 80% to 90% more likely to watch the event. If you’re more engaged, guess what happens to ratings? Ratings will go up.”
In the near future, Levy said media companies will be able to develop content that gaming companies like MGM or Caesars will need to create attractive sports wagering services.
One market researcher, Activate, predicted the business opportunity could be as large as $120 billion over the next five years, as companies create new ways to wager on athletic contests within the arena, on their mobile devices and even on social networks.
“These are new revenue opportunities we didn’t have in our portfolio a year ago,” said Levy.
It’s not hard to imagine a future where a pay-per-view sporting event like Turner’s golf match between superstars Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson could well feature betting.