Tech

ESPN is reportedly looking to license its brand for at least $3 billion amid a boom in the sports-betting industry

  • ESPN is looking to license its brand for at least $3 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported. 
  • This means an opportunity for approved sports-betting companies to use the ESPN brand.
  • The sports TV network is now in discussion with firms including Caesars Entertainment and DraftKings, sources told WSJ. 

Walt Disney‘s ESPN is looking to license its brand for at least $3 billion over the course of several years amid a boom in the sports-betting industry, The Wall Street Journal first reported. 

This means an opportunity for approved sports-betting companies to use the ESPN brand and the possibility of renaming their sportsbooks after the television network, sources told WSJ. There is, however, no guarantee the sports-media giant will ever close a deal. 

ESPN is now in discussion with firms including casino operator Caesars Entertainment and online gambling company DraftKings, sources told WSJ. It currently has existing partnerships with both.

The sports-betting industry in the past months has benefitted from a wave of enthusiasm across the country. This year, around 25 states have introduced legislation to legalize mobile sports betting, while five states have introduced legislation to expand their existing sports betting frameworks.

ESPN, though, has been reluctant in entering the space. Executives do not want to risk having the company directly involved in gambling transactions, according to WSJ.

An instance when direct links could have negative consequences for the company could be seen with DraftKings. Shares of the major sports-betting firm tumbled in June after it was accused of hiding “black market operations” by Hindenburg Research

Still, the recent initiative ESPN is reportedly exploring may be a win-win situation as it would allow the company to ride the boom without being directly related in the gambling industry.

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