ESPN Bet: The view from the top

Hot off the launch of ESPN Bet, Mike Morrison, vice-president of sports betting at ESPN, explains how sports betting’s biggest launch is set to upend the market – and what he thinks makes it the premier choice for sports fans.

When we first spoke with Morrison in August, he was adamant about ESPN Bet’s potential to be the best sportsbook on the market. At the time it had only been weeks since ESPN had clinched its $1.5bn (£1.18bn/€1.37bn) deal with Penn Entertainment, officially choosing the operator to manage the ESPN Bet sportsbook.

Just over three months later, ESPN Bet has burst onto the scene. With the launch being so highly anticipated, the best place to start is by establishing how it went.

“Really smooth,” according to Morrison. “We’re thrilled. Everything is working very well. Some of the early reviews we’ve seen are really good. Teams are energised and excited on both sides.”

ESPN Bet launched in 17 US states on 14 November

The whirlwind saw ESPN Bet hit 17 US states on ..

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ESPN Bet launches across 17 US states

ESPN Bet, the newly branded online sportsbook operated by Penn Entertainment, has now officially gone live across 17 states in the US.

Players can now place bets with the sportsbook on the ESPN Bet app and website in states including Arizona, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Illinois and Ohio.

ESPN Bet is the product of Penn’s $1.5bn (£1.2bn/€1.4bn) partnership with Disney-owned ESPN, the largest sports media brand in the US.

As per the agreement, Penn will operate ESPN Bet while ESPN promotes the app across its online and broadcast platforms.

The launch details

ESPN Bet is a rebranding of existing sports betting app, Barstool Sportsbook. In August, Penn said it sold Barstool Sports back to its founder Dave Portnoy for $1.

“We are excited to announce that we plan to simultaneously launch ESPN Bet across the 17 states in which we operate online sports betting, subject to final approvals,” said Penn CEO Jay Snowden, commenting on Penn’s Q3 results.

“This strategic allia..

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ESPN BET launch: everything you need to know

Like any Disney fairytale, we’re ready for the hero to dash in and save the day. So, what kind of fairytale do we have concocted for tomorrow’s (14 November) ESPN BET launch?

First up, let’s do some background.

ESPN BET launch: has Penn Met its sports betting match?

We all know Penn Entertainment was billed as one of the pandemic success stories. At the time, few investors thought it had a big part to play in our Disney fairytale with its acquisition of Barstool Sports.

However, unlike our Disney tale of true love, Barstool and Penn was just never meant to be.

At the start of 2023, Penn sold Barstool back to Dave Portnoy for a single paltry dollar. This was mere months after completing the $500 million purchase. A poisoned apple, some might say.

Instead, enter the prince of our tale – Disney-owned ESPN.

This where our tale of true love begins and the story of ESPN BET.

A match made in heaven for ESPN and Penn

Following ESPN’s $1.5bn licensing partnership with Penn Entertainme..

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ESPN Bet to launch on 14 November

ESPN Bet, the gaming brand backed by the sports broadcasting giant, is to launch across 17 US states on 14 November.

Penn Entertainment, which will operate the brand, made the announcement in its Q3 trading update, published earlier today. ESPN Bet’s launch is the product of a $1.5bn (£1.2bn/€1.4bn) partnership with Disney-owned ESPN, the largest sports media brand in the US. When the deal was announced in August, Penn said the brand – which replaces its Barstool Sports operation – could add up to $1.0bn to its long-term adjusted EBITDA potential.

ESPN Bet’s logo

The 14 November debut has been timed to coincide with the busy sports calendar during Thanksgiving week. Highlights include NCAA college football rivalry week and the Super Bowl rematch of the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles televised on ESPN’s Monday Night Football.

Jay Snowden, Penn’s CEO and president, said: “This strategic alliance is expected to further expand our digital ecosystem and drive re-engageme..

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ESPN Bet unveils brand

Penn Entertainment and Disney’s ESPN have unveiled the brand for their upcoming mobile sports betting offering, ESPN Bet.

ESPN Bet’s mint green and navy logo is to feature across the multiple ESPN channels, including in-app, on social media and in television programming.

The sports media company added the logo will give prominence to the “ESPN” brand. However, the mobile sportsbook application itself will be branded as the letter “E” within a “B”.

the espn mobile application brand

ESPN, which is the largest sports media brand in the US, said this “creatively expresses the idea that ESPN, in partnership with Penn Entertainment, is launching a sportsbook for fans, but at its core is still ESPN, the most trusted brand in sports.”

According to Penn president and CEO Jay Snowden, the app is set to launch in November after a five-month development period.

This followed the August announcement that Penn would be launching an ESPN-branded online sports betting offering through a $1.5bn ..

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How will ESPN Bet carve out its place in the industry?

The stakes are high for ESPN's long-awaited foray into sports betting. Vice president of sports betting Mike Morrison believes the broadcasting behemoth will upend the established industry order.

“There was an inevitability about this,” ESPN’s Mike Morrison says of the sports giant’s move into betting.

Partnering Penn Entertainment to launch ESPN Bet brought years of speculation – and the operator’s partnership with Barstool Sports – to a close. This was momentous at every level.

First, the announcement came as a surprise. Penn’s sportsbook now connects with a vast audience, potentially catapulting the operator’s interactive business to the top tier of operators.

To the general news connoisseur, beloved multimedia behemoth the Walt Disney Company – owner of ESPN – entered the sports betting race.

ESPN Bet: A deal five years in the making

Sports betting is a natural extension for ESPN and speculation over deals with DraftKings and Caesars Entertainment was rife.

Morrison say..

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ESPN Bet to launch in November

Jay Snowden, president and CEO of Penn Entertainment, confirmed that ESPN Bet will go live in November this year.

Penn and sports broadcaster ESPN’s transformative $1.5bn deal will consist of Penn relaunching its existing Barstool Sportsbook as ESPN Bet.

Off the back of the deal Penn is divesting its Barstool Sports sportsbook brand and selling it back to Dave Portnoy, founder of Barstool.

Snowden confirmed the month for launch on Penn’s earnings call today, following the publication of its second quarter results.

When the deal was announced yesterday, Penn said the launch had been set for “the fall”, with no specific details as to when.

On the earnings call, Snowden skipped around the month with “sometime this fall” and “certainly before Thanksgiving” before landing on November.

Snowden defended the timing of the launch amid claims it would come too late in the NFL season.

“I think our launch in November is good, because it won’t get lost at the beginning of football season,”..

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ESPN makes its betting move as Penn lets go of Barstool

Disney-owned sports broadcaster ESPN is moving into sports betting in partnership with Penn Entertainment, which will sell the Barstool brand back to founder Dave Portnoy.

Penn’s Barstool Sportsbook is relaunching as ESPN Bet this autumn through the $1.5bn deal. This immediately provides the brand with a footprint across 16 legal betting states, covering its mobile website and app and desktop site.

Penn says its partnership with the largest sports brand in the US increases the long-term adjusted EBITDA potential for its interactive segment by between $500m and $1.0bn.

Penn is divesting Barstool Sports, its sportsbook brand since 2020, as a result. Barstool founder Dave Portnoy buys back 100% of its share capital “in exchange for certain non-compete and other restrictive covenants”.

The terms of the deal

ESPN and Snowden comment

What about theScore and icasino?

Barstool back with Portnoy

Disney’s history with betting

Exclusive access to ESPN assets

ESPN Bet leverages ESPN’s m..

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