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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

ESPN To Launch Branded Sportsbook As Penn Unloads Barstool

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In a strategic move that will deeply entrenched ESPN into the world of sports betting and the media giant. A division of Disney, is launching its very own sportsbook in partnership with Penn Entertainment. Labeled “ESPN Bet,” the venture marks the first instance of the ESPN brand being integrated into a sports-betting platform. So, the ESPN To Launch Branded Sportsbook As Penn Unloads Barstool

The move comes after years of speculation regarding ESPN’s potential foray into the sports-betting industry. The Barstool Sportsbook, Penn’s current platform, will be rebranded and relaunched as ESPN’s main betting operation as a result of the deal. The newly branded sportsbook is slated for a fall launch and will be accessible to residents of the 16 states. Where the sports betting is legally sanctioned.

ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro focused attention on the company’s commitment to its vast fan base, stating, “Our primary focus is always to serve sports fans and we know they want both betting content and the ability to place bets with less friction from within our products. The strategy here is simple: to give fans what they’ve been requesting and expecting from ESPN”.

The partnership outlines terms wherein Penn will pay ESPN a sum of $1.5 billion over a ten-year duration. Furthermore, ESPN will also receive about $500 million of warrants, enabling it to acquire approximately 31.8 million common Penn shares. This agreement solidifies the collaboration and ensures an enduring partnership, especially. As ESPN gains the option to nominate a board observer. After three years, designate a full-fledged board member to Penn’s board.

In a parallel development and as part of this overarching deal, Penn Entertainment has divested its stock in Barstool Sports, effectively selling it back to its original founder, David Portnoy. Portnoy candidly commented on the transition, highlighting Barstool’s edgy content style, “The regulated industry is probably not the best place for Barstool Sports and the type of content we make. For the first time in forever, we don’t have to watch what we say, how we talk, what we do. I’m never going to sell Barstool Sports, ever”.

This new alliance promises exciting possibilities for both Penn and ESPN. With sports betting revenues in the U.S. witnessing a staggering 63% rise in 2022, amounting to $7.5 billion, the potential for this venture seems boundless. As for ESPN, this partnership not only adds a significant revenue stream. But also give strength to its position in the evolving sports media landscape. Where the lines between sports entertainment and betting continue to blur.

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