ESPN reportedly close to major partnership with DraftKings

Content Team 1 year ago
ESPN reportedly close to major partnership with DraftKings

Walt Disney’s ESPN unit is reportedly close to signing a major partnership with DraftKings to take advantage of the expanding U.S. sports betting market.

Bloomberg reported news of the tie-up, citing people familiar with the matter, but had no further details on the structure of the deal. 

Disney CEO Bob Chapek said last month that the sports network was looking for a partner, but said that it would never be a sportsbook that accepts bets.

Chapek told analysts on an August call that the company has been in conversations for “quite a long time” with sportsbook platforms.

Since sports betting was legalized in the U.S. in 2018, media companies have raced to reach agreements with gambling firms and sports leagues.

Boosting engagement

A report from consultancy KPMG found that the addition of legalized betting increases viewer interest in live sports programming by expanding the audience and driving greater retention during events. Sports fans with a wager may watch for longer, even if the outcome of a game has largely been decided and casual fans tune out.

KPMG put the size of the combined sports, betting and media market at $135 billion in 2021 and said that firms completed 18 deals in the first half of that year, matching the total for the whole of 2019.

ESPN has lagged many of its rivals in tying up with sports betting brand, mainly due to Disney’s concern over protecting its family friendly brand credentials.

A tie-up between the two companies “makes strategic sense,” the news agency reported, citing Bloomberg Intelligence analysts Brian Egger and Geetha Ranganathan. “Licensing EPSN’s brand to a sports book and integrating bet odds in broadcasts could help both companies widen their audiences.”

THE 300 SPARTANS:

After triumphing in key locations across Asia and Europe, AGS is flying 300 top affiliates to Malta, for an all inclusive deluxe trip. The event will happen alongside SiGMA, 14-18th November, during SiGMA Europe.

Read more about the 300 Spartans here.

 

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