The world’s largest sports media company is looking to brand its own sportsbook.
According to a report from Front Office Sports, ESPN is eying the process with one source telling the outlet that the company is going “all-in” on sports betting.
The move comes shortly after Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont signed a bill that legalized sports betting and all other forms of online gambling, including poker. ESPN’s headquarters is located in Bristol, Conn.
It would be one of the next logical steps for the media giant as it has made several strides to incorporate more gambling content on its programs, as well as making partnerships with other gambling entities. In May 2019, ESPN partnered with Caesars Entertainment to build a TV studio on the Las Vegas Strip at the LINQ Hotel & Casino. The studio is where the company produces its sports betting show the “Daily Wager.”
Last September, it agreed to partnerships with William Hill, Caesars Sports Betting partner, and with DraftKings. The deal would allow the sportsbooks to advertise within the ESPN Fantasy apps. The apps would use geo-location software to send those devices located in regulated sports betting markets directly to the sportsbooks.
It wouldn’t even be the first sports media company to make the jump into the world of bookmaking. Fox Sports partnered with The Stars Group to launch Fox Bet in the fall of 2019 and Barstool Sports launched its sportsbook last September.
Those two media companies weren’t owned by the Walt Disney Co., however, which has historically been opposed to gambling expansion.