ESPN and Caesars Become Sports Betting Tag-Team Partners
Walt Disney’s ESPN and Caesars Entertainment Corp. have come to an agreement wherein ESPN will open a branded studio in the Las Vegas Linq Hotel and Casino. From there, ESPN will provide sports-betting content for the new show “Daily Wager” in addition to other platforms and programs. This is a big move by Walt Disney considering that they have publicly flip-flopped on their sports betting stance over the last year. Furthermore, it comes on the heels of FOX Sports already diving into the deep end of sports betting with their own sports gambling product.
More Details About This Partnership
Caesars will become ESPN’s official provider of odds, with its branding and data to be seen all over ESPN programming within a matter of weeks. Viewers will soon be seeing a lot of Caesars while watching ESPN’s TV and streaming content. This deal is great for Caesars because ESPN has a massive audience around the globe.
The announcement comes at the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn PASPA, allowing state legislatures to legalize sports betting. In a statement noted by the Chicago Tribune, ESPN’s VP of Business Development, Mike Morrison, commented on this deal and the changing sports betting landscape:
“The sports betting landscape has changed, and fans are coming to us for this kind of information more than ever before. We are poised to expand our coverage in a big way and working with a category leader like Caesars Entertainment will help us serve these highly engaged, diverse sports fans with the best and most relevant content possible.”
Last week, Bob Iger, the CEO and Chairman of ESPN’s parent Disney said in a quarterly earnings call that Disney isn’t entering the gambling industry but, rather, it is working with the industry:
“We’ll provide programming that will, I guess, be designed to enlighten people who are betting on sports, but that’s as far as we would go. I think you’ll see more of it integrated in the programming, but we just don’t intend to go into the gambling business.”
According to a 2018 Langer Research Associates study, ESPN can claim two-thirds of all sports bettors already use its content. Financial details about the deal were not disclosed.
Who Will Be Next?
With FOX Sports and ESPN becoming prominent players in the sports betting industry, speculations are rising that additional major networks could join the sports betting fray. It’s a clear sign that mainstream media outlets and networks are fully embracing an industry that was once shunned and relegated to Nevada or black market avenues.
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