SÁB 23 DE OCTUBRE DE 2021 - 20:37hs.
Bob Chapek, firm´s CEO

“Sports betting is definitely a place Disney wants to be”

It is no secret that Disney’s ESPN is kicking the tires on sports betting. Media outlets like the Wall Street Journal and Front Office Sports have speculated about the firm’s plans for the sector, whether that be a licensing deal or a merger/acquisition. During a recent investor conference, Disney CEO Bob Chapek left no doubts about the company's intentions: “We’re interested in sports betting. It’s definitely a place we want to be.”

According to Disney CEO Bob Chapek, the media giant is ready to take “big steps” on sports betting through ESPN. During an investor conference that took place last Tuesday (21), Goldman Sachs analyst Bret Feldman asked Chapek about ESPN’s plans for US sports betting.

Specifically, Feldman asked whether ESPN might just license its name to an operator, as the WSJ reported, or go further and “embed [betting] into the ESPN business model.”

There’s a long way between embedded into the ESPN business model and licensing the name out,” Chapek said.

Let’s just say our fans are really interested in sports betting. Let’s say our partners in the leagues are interested in sports betting, so we’re interested in sports betting. Strategically, sports betting gives us the ability to appeal to a much younger sports fan who has a very strong affinity for those sports. So it’s definitely a place we want to be,” Chapek assured.

Chapek added that the company was getting “more and more aggressive” in pursuing sports betting partnerships.

ESPN has been linked with Rush Street Interactive as a potential betting partner by both the Action Network and analyst firm Eilers & Krejcik.

There’s logic to a [deal between the two]. BetRivers has struggled to make a dent in markets where it doesn’t have a big retail casino gaming presence and ESPNBet would surely change that,” Eilers said in a recent note

Chapek did not give specifics on partners but added that ESPN was “starting to take some pretty big steps along that way.”

Last month, The Wall Street Journal reported alleged talks between ESPN and potential candidates for a US$3 billion betting brand deal with a major sportsbook. This agreement would give the chosen partner the option to use the ESPN name for branding purposes and potentially rename its sportsbook after the sports TV network.

Source: GMB / Legal Sports Report