We already know the NCAA doesn’t think much of the daily fantasy stuff. It’s asked the sites to stop offering fantasy games based on college sports. It’s barred student-athlete participation, with a year of lost eligibility penalty for anyone who’s caught violating the rule.
That’s the easy stuff. Where the rubber meets the road, though…
Lewis added, “As we have communicated to you previously, since your games meet the definition of sports wagering within our bylaws, the N.C.A.A. will not allow advertising of your products in connection with N.C.A.A. championships, including television broadcasts.”
Numerous N.C.A.A. championships appear on television, but most prominent are the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, with the men’s on CBS and Turner stations and the women’s on ESPN and its affiliates. The men’s tournament deal is worth more than $10 billion for 14 years. ESPN has broadcast deals for a few dozen other N.C.A.A. championships, including the College World Series.
CBS Sports and Turner Sports declined to comment.
Well, publicly, anyway.
In the world of college football, where the NCAA can only watch the deals from the sidelines, the approach is more mixed.
The College Football Playoff is not administered by the N.C.A.A., but rather by the Football Bowl Subdivision conferences and Notre Dame, which is independent. Bill Hancock, executive director of the playoff — which comprises seven bowl and playoff games annually, including the national championship game and the Rose Bowl — said the playoff had not engaged in extensive discussion on the topic yet with ESPN, which signed a 12-year, $7.3 billion contract to broadcast those games.
While several professional sports franchises and media companies are investors, the college sports establishment appeared to have fewer entanglements.
The Southeastern Conference has asked the SEC Network, which ESPN owns, not to air ads for daily fantasy sports, according to SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey.
“It certainly doesn’t seem the right tone,” Sankey said, adding, “We are in an academic environment. Candidly, a lot of this advertising reaches out to a lot of young people, and a piece of the concern is about individuals.”
The Pacific-12 Network and Big Ten Network, which are fully or jointly owned by the conferences and their universities, still air daily fantasy ads, although not ones that promote college games.
“As long as the federal government has determined this isn’t gambling, it’s in a different category,” said Larry Scott, the Pac-12 commissioner.
Sankey said the SEC had had discussions with ESPN and CBS, which broadcast conference football games, about barring daily fantasy commercials.
That money thing, she is tough.
I give it a few years and expect the colleges will fold on this, telling themselves that it hasn’t been a problem for the NBA to manage. Then it’ll be off to the races. Gotta be flexible with integrity when you’re paying the bills.