ESPN and PENN Entertainment reached an agreement on Tuesday to launch ESPN BET in Fall 2023.
ESPN BET will take over in 16 states that PENN Entertainment is licensed through the Barstool Sportsbook.
PENN Entertainment CEO Jay Snowden expressed his confidence in the ESPN partnership at PENN’s Q2 earnings call on Wednesday morning.
BOSTON – ESPN and PENN Entertainment announced their partnership and rebranding of Barstool Sportsbook to ESPN BET. ESPN’s sportsbook powered by PENN Entertainment is expected to launch in Fall of 2023.
During PENN Entertainment’s Q2 2023 earnings meeting, CEO Jay Snowden said ESPN BET will launch near the middle of the NFL season, stating “certainly before Thanksgiving.”
Jay Snowden, CEO of PENN Entertainment, is confident that their partnership with ESPN and the product of ESPN BET will be a success. In PENN Entertainment’s Q2 meeting on Wednesday, Snowden said the ESPN partnership will be successful for two reasons.
“One, it’s an exclusive partnership. Two, its ESPN branded, its fully integrated, it includes access and endorsement from top ESPN talent… this is a strategic relationship.”
PENN Entertainment agreed to pay $1.5 billion over 10 years to ESPN and grant them $500 million in warrants to purchase PENN shares. Incentives are included for ESPN BET being competitive to other legal online sportsbooks and meeting certain market shares.
PENN Entertainment formerly paid $551 million to fully acquire Barstool Sports and launch a successful regulated sportsbook. However, the partnership didn’t produce as expected, and PENN Entertainment hopes ESPN BET can bring them legal sports betting success that the Barstool Sportsbook didn’t reach.
PENN Entertainment will rebrand its formerly owned Barstool Sportsbook into ESPN BET after selling 100% of Barstool Sports back to founder Dave Portnoy.
Barstool Sportsbook fell short of major sportsbooks like FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM in its home state of Massachusetts. It doesn’t help that DraftKings’ US headquarters is in Boston, but Barstool Sportsbook only held 5% of the Massachusetts sports betting market share in June.
PENN Entertainment will oversee daily operations of ESPN BET and can operate brick and mortar sportsbooks at mutually agreed locations.
ESPN is also confident in the partnership with PENN Entertainment, with President Jimmy Pitaro stating in a release that PENN Entertainment is “the right long-term partner to build ESPN Bet.”
According to an ESPN article, “Our primary focus is always to serve sports fans and we know they want both betting content and the ability to place bets with less friction from within our products.”
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News tags: Barstool Sports | Barstool Sportsbook | Dave Portnoy | ESPN | ESPN BET | Jay Snowden | Jimmy Pitaro | Penn Entertainment
Zach is currently a student enrolled at Florida State University. He is majoring in Writing, Editing, and Media with a minor in Communication. Zach is interested in the legalization aspect of sports betting and enjoys participating in DFS. He has a passion for sports writing and most enjoys writing about football and baseball both professional and collegiate.