Brant James for Bookies.com

By Brant James | | 2 mins

Giants Co-Owner Credits Sports Betting for NFL Ratings Boost

Giants Co-Owner Credits Sports Betting for NFL Ratings Boost

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones strongly insinuated it weeks ago. But New York Giants co-owner Jonathan Tisch came right out and said it this week, telling CNBC that legal sports betting has helped boost NFL ratings this season.

Appearing Thursday on the “Power Lunch” show, Tisch said sports betting, which is legal in New Jersey where the Giants play at MetLife Stadium, has had a “big influence” on television ratings improving by 5% and digital consumption rising by 49% (through Monday) as compared to last season.

Giants Co-Owner Credits Sports Betting for NFL Ratings Boost 1

"Obviously, if you're betting on a certain game, you're going to watch to see what happens and you're going to watch until the bitter end," Tisch told CNBC.

Tisch became the first NFL executive to assert a point DraftKings co-founder and chief revenue officer Matt Kalish made to Bookies.com in October.

Currently, 13 states have legal sports betting underway, including Indiana (Indianapolis Colts) New Jersey (Giants and New York Jets) and Pennsylvania (Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers) that have NFL teams. The Oakland Raiders will move to Las Vegas next season; Nevada, of course, has had legal sports betting for decades.

Colorado (Denver Broncos), Illinois (Chicago Bears), North Carolina (Carolina Panthers) and Tennessee (Titans) have passed sports betting legislation but have not implemented rules to get underway. The District of Columbia has also, but the Washington Redskins play in Maryland.