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

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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, probably, the flexibility to nominate a board member.

In early 2022, then-Disney CEO Bob Chapek said Disney’s alternative “extends to sports activities betting, gaming, and the Metaverse.” Now, Chapek is gone, the metaverse team is dismantled, and new/{old} 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 corporations that try this.” Iger can be attempting to navigate to a direct-to-consumer future for ESPN and is reportedly in search of 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 follow, that is what Iger’s plan seems 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 had 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 one hundred pc 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 bought denied licenses due to me. You title it.”

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