Barstool Sportsbook operator rebrands as ESPN Wager in a brand new $1.5 billion licensing deal

As ESPN’s future drifts within the direct-to-consumer wind, a deal with Penn Entertainment will let the sportsbook rename current properties, like its Barstool Sportsbook, to ESPN Wager. In return, Penn is scheduled to pay ESPN $1.5 billion over the subsequent ten years, in addition to $500 million in warrants to purchase shares of the operation and, doubtlessly, the flexibility to nominate a board member.

In early 2022, then-Disney CEO Bob Chapek mentioned Disney’s alternative “extends to sports activities betting, gaming, and the Metaverse.” Now, Chapek is gone, the metaverse group is dismantled, and new/previous CEO Bob Iger described its playing technique in an interview as “…we’re not really inflicting the bets to be made. We’re simply enabling individuals to hyperlink to firms that do this.” Iger can be making an attempt to navigate to a direct-to-consumer future for ESPN and is reportedly searching for companions (together with main sports activities leagues, perhaps) because the community’s cable TV buyer base continues to shrink as viewer habits transfer to streaming.

In apply, that is what Iger’s plan appears like, with ESPN offering promotional companies, entry to ESPN expertise, and branding betting content material on its platforms underneath the ESPN banner.

As a part of the deal, Penn is undoing its association with Barstool, the corporate it bought, in steps that have been accomplished in February, for over $500 million, and promoting that firm again to founder Dave Portnoy “in change for sure non-compete and different restrictive covenants,” in addition to an settlement that Penn will get half of any offers he makes to resell or monetize Barstool.

In a video posted to social media, Portnoy confirmed that “for the primary time in a decade,” he once more owned 100% of Barstool, complimenting Penn and saying he continued to personal inventory in that firm. In line with Portnoy, “Each time we did one thing, it was one step ahead, two steps again. We acquired denied licenses due to me. You title it.”