Reportedly, ESPN is seeking to license its brand to major sports-betting companies for at least $3 billion over several years, according to the Wall Street Journal.

What’s Happening:

  • Reportedly, ESPN has held talks with companies that own major sportsbooks, including Caesars Entertainment and DraftKings, both of which already have existing partnerships with ESPN.
  • Potentially, a deal could be made to use the ESPN name for branding purposes, which could mean renamed sportsbooks at Vegas casinos and on sports betting apps.
  • Reportedly, ESPN has been cautious to enter the realm of sports-betting, despite integrating odds and betting content into some programming, as well as podcasts dedicated to gambling, but is avoiding direct involvement in betting transactions. A licensing deal is a better fit, as ESPN could profit without taking bets and making payouts.
  • ESPN has been the dominant sports-media player for decades and a growth engine for Disney, having profited handsomely off the growth of cable television. The erosion of the cable TV market, as consumers cut the cord and switch over to streaming, is pressuring ESPN along with all other major networks.
  • Major players in the online sports-betting world include the aforementioned DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM, with major companies striking deals in the sports-betting industry, which is on track to generate 4 Billion in revenue in the U.S.
  • Beyond ESPN, many other media companies have looked for ways to integrate sports wagering content onto their platforms or strike partnerships to enter into the booming industry.

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