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ESPN To Jump Into Sports Betting After Striking $1.5 Billion Deal With Penn Entertainment

Paul Kelly
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Sports media giant ESPN have struck a deal with Penn Entertainment worth $1.5 billion to license its brand for use in a sports betting app. Disney-owned ESPN will now have their own sports betting platform called ESPN Bet – a rebranding of an existing sports betting app owned by Penn Entertainment.

ESPN Bet To Launch As New Sports Betting App

You will know ESPN as a sports media giant in America. Now, they are diving into the sports betting industry too. ESPN have struck a $1.5 billion deal with Penn Entertainment to jump into sports betting with the ESPN brand being used for a sports betting app.

Disney-owned ESPN will receive $1.5 billion and other considerations from Penn Entertainment, in exchange for use of the ESPN brand to launch a new sports betting app. The sportsbook will be called ESPN Bet, a rebranding of an existing sports betting app owned by Penn.

Penn Entertainment are paying ESPN $1.5 billion+ for exclusive rights to the ESPN name. The deal, which was announced yesterday, is taking Walk Disney Co.-owned ESPN into unchartered waters. Disney is of course known as being family-friendly and has that image, and isn’t typically associated with the world of gambling.

ESPN Bet will be operated by Penn Entertainment, with ESPN agreeing to promote it across its online and broadcast platforms in order to generate “maximum fan awareness” of the new sports betting app.

In addition to the $1.5 billion licensing deal, which will be paid out over a decade, Penn will also grant ESPN rights worth about $500 million to purchase shares in Penn. Penn’s rights to the ESPN brand will initially run for 10 years, but can be extended further by another decade if mutually agreed.

ESPN Chairman, Jimmy Pitaro, said, “Penn Entertainment is the perfect partner to build an unmatched user experience for sports betting with ESPN Bet.”

ESPN added that it will use its platforms “to educate sports fans on responsible gaming” — for instance by continuing to cover the sports betting industry with “journalistic integrity,” creating a “responsible gaming” committee within the company and developing marketing guidelines that “safeguard” fans.

Paul Kelly

Paul has worked in sports as a writer ever since graduating from Liverpool John Moores University back in 2020, where he attained a First Class Honours Degree in Sports Journalism. Paul is comfortable writing about all sorts of different sports, but specifically specialises in boxing, golf, MMA, darts and horse racing. Paul's vast knowledge of worldwide sport means he is capable of covering almost any sport, including popular US sports such as NFL, NBA and MLB. Paul has years of experience covering sport for BBC Sport, as well as being a regular contributor at ESBR Boxing. Paul gained vital experience at BBC Radio 1 and Everton Football Club during his time at university, aiding his knowledge of the writing world. Paul has had the opportunity to attend big live sporting events and work as a reporter on numerous occasions. His experience writing on both live sports and sports betting content means he is comfortable with all aspects of sports reporting. As well as writing for Betting Sites, Paul's wealth of knowledge in a whole host of sports converts into writing in depth stories and providing reliable betting picks regularly.