NCAA to Block DFS March Madness TV Ads


The NCAA is expected to exercise certain rights afforded them to block daily fantasy sports (DFS) companies like Draft Kings and FanDuel from airing advertising from this year's men's and women's March Madness basketball tournaments.

The governing body for collegiate athletics, the NCAA can do so under the terms of its television broadcast agreement with ESPN, CBS, and Turner, USA Today reported. However, the NCAA does not have the ability to block DFS companies' ads during the College Football Playoff broadcast.

Additionally, the NCAA may not be able to block DFS companies from running ads during postseason basketball events in Las Vegas, ESPN noted. And further still, such companies are free to sponsor events, such as this season's FanDuel Legends Classic at the Barclays Center.

Yet the NCAA does not allow student-athletes to participate in DFS contests because they classify them as gambling.

"Yeah it does (bother me)," NCAA President Mark Emmert told reporters during the Intercollegiate Athlete Forum in Manhattan. "Here we've got rules that say if a student participates in this activity, he'll be suspended and - oh, by the way - we're advertising it. That sends a completely wrong message.

"I think the membership is trying to figure out what's the right way to approach this issue again," he said. "Where does the membership want to be in this space? How do you manage what often seems to be a hypocritical stance? Let's talk about it."

At the end of the day, the DFS issue is another matter begging Emmert's attention as major Division I collegiate athletics continue to head toward a transitional phase. At the conference, Emmert told reporters he is talking to the NBA's commissioner, Adam Silver, about the one-year mandate for draft eligibility.

"To force someone to go to college for one year to get acclimated to a professional experience, that doesn't make any sense to me as an educator," he said. "To go and touch base for six months is a travesty to what the college experience is supposed to be about it. I don't blame the kid who is doing what he has to, and I don't blame the coaches who want to win. But the system is letting down a lot of people."

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