America’s go-to source for all things sports is in talks with its marketing partners to bring a new gambling experience to undying fans. Offering up a $3 billion licensing deal, ESPN is currently negotiating with DraftKings and Casaer Entertainment.
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Much like Jay-Z- who applied for an online gambling licensing in New York – ESPN is trying to hop on the ever-growing market for sports betting. Thanks to a 2018 Supreme Court ruling, legal sports gambling was able to spread across the country. Just last year, sports fans spent quarantine gambling away, bringing in about $1.55 billion into the highly competitive market. Forbes cited that the 2021 revenue could easily skyrocket to a record breaking $44 billion.
So it comes as no surprise that the Walt Disney owned media company is looking to cash in on this phenomenon.
Creditable sources with knowledge about the network’s venture brought information to the Wall Street Journal regarding the terms of the aforementioned licensing deal. Per their explanation, prospective suitors would be granted the ability to utilize the ESPN name the purpose of brand. The sources also disclosed that the prospective partner would also be able rename their preexisting sports book to include the network’s brand.
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The two biggest contenders for this deal are DraftKings and Casear Entertainment, two firms that have made billions from the boom of sports gambling. Since both firms already have investments through other rival company’s, it’s too early to guess which one will take up the deal.
“DraftKings speaks to a variety of companies regarding various matters in the normal course of business,” a spokesperson from the online platform told the New York Post, “and it is our general policy not to comment on the specifics of those discussions.”
ESPN has carefully dabbled in gambling experiences for their fans before. Take the company’s podcast, the Daily Wager for instance. Though, this deal would see the network finally sticking its neck out to have direct involvement with sports betting.
A source told the Wall Street Journal that a “exclusive marketing commitment” would be put in place where the potential suitor will spend a sum of money in promoting its ESPN sports book.
This could be a huge move for the network, as the sports betting industry is projected to make $4 billion in revenue this year.
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Sources: Wall Street Journal, New York Post, The Wrap
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