A Bloomberg scoop has revealed a “large new partnership” is imminent between one of the US’s largest sports betting firms and a subsidiary of one of the world’s best-loved brands.
reportedly near-done deal
The reportedly near-done deal between DraftKings and Disney sub-brand ESPN saw the former’s stock spike 12% by the close of Thursday’s market. One of the Bloomberg reporters who broke the story, Ed Hammond, shared news of the potentially seismic deal via Twitter:
Sources clued up on the matter said the tie-up would give ESPN the opportunity to capitalize on the legalized sports betting boom. However, the anonymous insiders stopped short of shedding any light on the details of the potential partnership.
If the talks bear fruit, it will make a significant dent in DraftKings’ bank balance, with ESPN reportedly wanting $3bn minimum for a multi-year licensing deal.
Tie-up of the titans
According to the scoop seen in Bloomberg this week, a spokesperson for Boston-headquartered DraftKings said the sportsbook brand doesn’t divulge the specifics of talks it has with other firms. That said, the firm did note that it has “a great, long standing relationship with ESPN.” Its potential partner refused to comment.
News of the expected deal comes less than a month after Disney CEO Bob Chapek said that, while ESPN would never run its own sportsbook, it was actively searching for a “well-respected third party” to become its book.
The potential DraftKings tie-up raises some questions about ESPN’s relationship with its odds provider Caesars Sportsbook, as sports legislation writer Ryan Butler tweeted:
The news may also give market leader FanDuel pause for thought should its nearest rival get access to ESPN’s substantial viewership, which averaged 1.2 million viewers over two weeks for the US Open alone. FanDuel launched its own sports betting content platform FanDuel TV in August.