Darren Rovell’s second stint at ESPN is reportedly coming to an end. The sports business reporter returned from CNBC in 2012, but according to CNN’s Brian Stelter, Rovell is on his way out and heading to The Action Network.
I hear ESPN sports business reporter @darrenrovell is leaving ESPN… He's close to a deal with sports betting startup @ActionNetworkHQ to cover the business of betting and help with content strategy…
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) November 26, 2018
Rovell’s an interesting figure, carving out his niche at ESPN before everyone else realized that sports and business are intertwined. For much of his early ESPN run, Rovell felt like the sports business equivalent to longtime ESPN legal analyst Lester Munson; if a story popped up that touched on the business side of sports, Rovell was at the ready for a hit on SportsCenter, ESPN Radio, ESPNews, Cold Pizza, or wherever else he was needed.
When Rovell left for CNBC (a tenure that included the infamous and wholly fake NBA lockout escort business report) and then returned in 2012, he sort of became a roving explorer of sports minutiae, everything from ballpark food to participating in on-court NBA promotions, sometimes with hilarious if predictable results.
Yankee Stadium food options…. pic.twitter.com/lauFc1Kf4q
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) October 3, 2017
.@theRealHOTSAUCE got @darrenrovell pretty good ??? pic.twitter.com/EewgmJ2euR
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) March 11, 2018
Now Rovell is apparently leaving once again, this time to focus on the gambling world ahead of what looks like an impending, if slow-moving, nationwide legalization. It might be a better fit for him than ESPN, at this point. If he does head to The Action Network, he’ll be following people like Rob “World Wide Wob” Perez and former ESPN editorial director Chad Millman.
Rovell has yet to comment.