ESPN set for blockbuster entry into sports betting landscape with debut of ESPN BET
ESPN BET, the gaming venture backed by the US sports broadcasting giant, is primed for its grand debut. Pending the final green light, this exciting launch will take place in 17 states from November 14.
Penn Entertainment, the entity who will operating the brand, made this announcement in its Q3 trading update earlier this week. The inception of ESPN BET is the culmination of a substantial $1.5 billion partnership with Disney-owned ESPN, the most significant sports media brand in the United States. In August, when the partnership was revealed, Penn projected that this brand, succeeding its Barstool Sports operation, could potentially contribute up to $1 billion to its long-term adjusted EBITDA prospects.
The launch date of November 14 has been strategically timed to coincide with a bustling sports calendar during Thanksgiving week. This period includes exciting events such as NCAA college football rivalry week and the Super Bowl rematch featuring the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles, televised on ESPN’s Monday Night Football.
“This strategic alliance is expected to further expand our digital ecosystem and drive re-engagement with the millions of customers in our digital and retail databases, leading to compelling cross-sell opportunities,” explained Jay Snowden, CEO and President of Penn.
Penn holds betting licenses in 17 states, encompassing regions like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Illinois and Ohio. It has previously announced its ambition to secure a 20 percent share of the US online sports betting market through ESPN BET.
ESPN is gearing up for an initial wave of integrations aimed at reaching an estimated audience of 200 million across both linear and digital platforms. This rollout includes an advertising campaign featuring SportsCenter anchors Scott van Pelt and Elle Duncan.
Penn has also revealed plans for further platform and media integrations with ESPN in the coming months. The two brands aim to offer a combined media and betting experience tailored to captivate sports fans nationwide.
ESPN stands as the largest sports media brand in the United States, boasting over 105 million monthly unique digital visitors. Its social media footprint exceeds 370 million fans, and 25 million subscribers engage with its ESPN+ streaming service. ESPN also commands a substantial presence on TikTok with 41 million followers worldwide.
In addition to the aforementioned states, ESPN BET is set to launch in Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. It’s important to note that each of these state launches will be contingent upon final approvals.