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NFL allows up to six sportsbooks commercials per game

Deshaun Watson fired off a snippy response to the media as he was leaving the practice field, which wasn't a good look for his already rocky reputation.

The times, they are a’changin’. Also, money talks.

After decades of loathing gambling (or at least pretending to), the NFL is now loving it. More specifically, the NFL is loving the money that comes from it. So with the NFL striking sponsorship deals with sportsbooks, it would be hypocritical for the league to continue to prevent networks from running sportsbook ads during NFL games.

According to Bill King of Sports Business Journal, the NFL has decided to allow up to six sportsbook commercials per game. Specifically, the networks can televise one per quarter, one during the pregame show, and one at halftime.

The spots can be sold by the broadcast partners (NBC, Fox, CBS, and ESPN) to one of the three “exclusive” (but there are three of them, so it’s not quite exclusive) sportsbook partners (DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars) and a second tier of approved sportsbook operators (FoxBet, BetMGM, PointsBet, and WynnBet).

”We were focused on how we can include sports betting ads in a thoughtful way with sports betting going national now, with over half the population having access to sports betting,” NFL Chief Strategy Officer Chris Halpin told SBJ. “How do we include it in a way to serve those fans and those partners while also not overwhelming the game broadcasts?”

The game broadcasts have been overwhelmed with beer and ED commercials for years, however. Frankly, the fans don’t care whether the commercials are about betting, beer, or boners. This clunky effort to pretend to hold gambling interest at arm’s length is bizarre, frankly, now that the NFL has multiple direct relationships with sportsbooks.