Despite the surge in online fantasy sports you won’t be seeing fantasy football commercials screened on the SEC sports network under an agreement reached between network partners ESPN and the NCAA’s Southeastern Conference (SEC) .
Greg Sankey, the SEC commissioner, said fantasy football competitions were “a form of gambling” adding “I think there is some question about that” when asked if they were merely a game of skill that should be allowed to advertise.
“I think the appropriate place for us to land as a conference on the SEC Network, again working with ESPN, is not to include that advertising on the SEC Network moving forward.”
He said ESPN and his conference began to phase out fantasy league commercials at the beginning of summer, so that when football season was underway, they would be be entirely eliminated from the network.
Asked by reporters if the SEC network would be adversely hindered by refusing to air fantasy football commercials, Sankey said finances were not a consideration.
“Given there’s an NCAA bylaw related to sports wagering that picks up a lot including fantasy sports, we felt not including that was appropriate position for the league,” he said.
Advertising experts said the two biggest promoters of fantasy football, FanDuel and DraftKIngs, spent a combined $27 million for 8,000 television commercial spots during the NFL season’s first week football season, and a combined $100 million on overall advertising for August and September.
Matt DeLima, the Editor-In-Chief of Scout Fantasy magazine called the ban “a political posture.”
“The ban functions as a firm nod to every SEC school’s list of donors to show they are proactively moralistic and high-minded. Yeah, right. If the SEC weren’t already swimming in money, this collective group of athletic directors would have never handed down this decision.” said DeLima
The SEC ban does not mean people cannot play in college sports fantasy contests as there has not yet been moves to forbid college sports on FanDuels or DraftKings websites. The league only prohibits players, coaches and officials from engaging in the leagues due to fears of game fixing.