ESPN is getting into the sports betting marketplace in a big way.
Per multiple releases on Tuesday, Penn Entertainment is rebranding their Barstool Sportsbook app as ESPN Bet, effective this fall.
Penn has also sold Barstool Sports back to Dave Portnoy.
Penn’s release details the terms of the agreement. ESPN will receive $1.5 billion over the first ten years of the deal. ESPN also receives “approximately $500 million of warrants to purchase approximately 31.8 million PENN common shares that will vest ratably over 10 years, in exchange for media, marketing services, brand and other rights provided by ESPN.”
ESPN’s release details some of the other parts of the agreement, which includes the ESPN Bet app becoming the company’s exclusive sportsbook (as you’d expect).
ESPN BET will become ESPN’s exclusive sportsbook, and PENN Entertainment will receive odds attribution, promotional services inclusive of digital product integrations, traditional media and content integrations, and ESPN talent access, among other services that collectively generate maximum fan awareness of ESPN BET.
ESPN’s Jimmy Pitaro and Penn’s Jay Snowden talked up the agreement.
Jay Snowden, Chief Executive Officer and President of PENN, commented, “This transformative, exclusive agreement with ESPN marks another major milestone in PENN’s evolution from a pure-play U.S. regional gaming operator to a North American entertainment leader. ESPN Bet will be deeply integrated with ESPN’s broad editorial, content, digital and linear product, and sports programming ecosystem. ESPN Bet will also benefit from PENN’s operational experience, extensive market access and proprietary technology platform, which successfully debuted in the U.S. this July.”
Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman of ESPN, said, “After meeting with Jay and the PENN team, it was clear that they were the right long-term strategic partner to build ESPN Bet into a leading U.S. sports betting platform. We are confident that the combination of our unparalleled audience along with PENN’s operational expertise and state-of-the-art technology provides us with a tremendous opportunity to serve the ever-growing number of consumers interested in betting.”
ESPN has been toying with the idea of launching its own sportsbook, or licensing its name to a company with an existing sportsbook, for a while now. Two years ago, ESPN was rumored to be talking to both DraftKings and Caesars about licensing its name to either company’s app, but nothing came of it.