Study Finds Radio Works Well For Sports Bettors

A MARU/Matchbox study conducted over the past year found that AM/FM radio is the ideal medium for online sports betting companies to grow their brands and businesses. In addition, the study found that radio listeners were far more engaged with online sports betting than TV viewers.

The results say that 42% of AM/FM radio listeners have already placed an online sports bet compared to 28% of TV viewers. Furthermore, TV viewers are less likely to give online sports betting a try. Only 28% of TV viewers say they are very/somewhat interested, while 52% of radio listeners checked off that box.

Westwood One put together the following chart:

While we tend to envision radio listeners as older, the study suggests radio's reach among the younger demographics is key to their interest in online sports betting.

"Online sports betting skews young," Westwood says.

"Linear TV leans quite old with the majority of the audience over the age of 50. AM/FM radio's much younger age profile means it has a much larger concentration of those interested in online sports betting."


In addition, radio has long been a more engaging medium than TV, which is background noise for most viewers. We catch only bits and pieces of a TV broadcast because we are often distracted when the TV is on. We get up, walk around, use the bathroom -- and for those of us who are Americans -- grab a snack during commercial breaks. We also spend much of our viewing time distracted by our phones.

Radio listeners, meanwhile, are alone in a car and hopefully not on their phones. So even if radio listeners catch just 12 minutes of a broadcast, they are likely to retain most of the information they hear. 

"A TV campaign will generate massive impressions among those who have no interest in online sports betting. AM/FM radio campaigns will generate a greater proportion of impressions with those inclined to online sports betting."

The study also proves that sporting betting has barely scratched the surface.

If further studies conclude that radio has the strongest reach among current and potential sports bettors, it should have major ramifications on brand advertising. The vast majority of betting companies advertise on linear TV programming. The study adds that for every dollar spent on radio, sixteen dollars are spent on TV. Expect that to change in the next year.

Sports betting is perhaps the only positive direction of sports media. In the past year, Barstool, Pat McAfee, Colin Cowherd (with Volume), OutKick (yes, where I work), and Meadowlark Media have all capitalized on the legalization of sports gambling. And to back up the study, McAfee, Cowherd, Clay Travis, and Dan Le Batard have all, by and large, built their brands through radio. I would bet that the list grows with additional radio hosts over the next 12-24 months.

Written by
Bobby Burack is a writer for OutKick where he reports and analyzes the latest topics in media, culture, sports, and politics.. Burack has become a prominent voice in media and has been featured on several shows across OutKick and industry related podcasts and radio stations.