On Tuesday, media company ESPN and Casino giant Caesars Entertainment announced a new partnership for sports betting content.
This marks the latest deal between a media organization and a gambling operator that relates to sports betting.
What’s in the deal?
Under the partnership, a new ESPN-branded studio will be constructed at The LINQ Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The new studio is set to open sometime next year.
Sports betting themed content will be created at the studio as well as segments for ESPN’s new sports betting show, Daily Wager.
The sports betting content could share similarities with content that ESPN has produced in the past such as the Behind the Bets with Doug Kezirian podcast, “Bad Beats” on SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt and ESPN Insider content.
Caesars will provide data and branding which will be displayed across ESPN’s programming and content.
Mike Morrison, VP of Business Development at ESPN said: “The sports betting landscape has changed, and fans are coming to us for this kind of information more than ever before.
“We are poised to expand our coverage in a big way and working with a category leader like Caesars Entertainment will help us serve these highly engaged, diverse sports fans with the best and most relevant content possible.”
Chris Holdren, EVP and Chief Marketing Officer at Caesars said: “We’re really excited about the long-term value this collaboration with ESPN will create and thrilled that, starting immediately, ESPN’s platforms will begin featuring odds information generated by Caesars Entertainment.”
In the past, ESPN has used odds provided by the SuperBook at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino.
How is this partnership different?
Since the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018, several media organizations have shown an interest in getting involved in sports betting.
In January, sports media app, theScore, announced it would be launching a sports betting app in New Jersey this year.
Last week, ESPN’s rival broadcaster Fox announced a partnership with gambling operator, The Stars Group. Under this deal, both companies will work establish Fox Bet, a national sports media and real-money betting platform.
While it appears that media companies like theScore and Fox are interested in becoming bookmakers, ESPN is not. ESPN’s partnership will focus on betting related content and helping to drive fan engagement.
It’s important to remember that ESPN is owned by Disney, an organization that has a significant amount of influence in the US and has openly opposed the expansion of gambling.
Last week, Robert Iger, CEO and Chairman of Disney, told financial analysts and investors that the company will only create informative sports betting content.
Iger said: “We’ll provide programming that will, I guess, be designed to enlighten people who are betting on sports. But that’s as far as we would go.”