ESPN Bet Launch Set for November 14
ESPN Bet, the highly anticipated sports betting platform with Penn Entertainment, is set to make its debut on November 14 across 17 U.S. states.
This launch comes several months after Penn Entertainment began its rebranding process from Barstool Sportsbook.
The partnership between ESPN and Penn is a result of a $1.5 billion agreement with Disney-owned ESPN, the largest sports media brand in the U.S.
This collaboration will replace the existing Barstool Sportsbook operation, and Penn says it has the potential to add up to $1.0 billion to the operator’s long-term adjusted earnings.
The launch date lines up with the bustling U.S sports betting calendar during Thanksgiving week, which includes the NCAA college football rivalry week and the Kansas City Chiefs vs the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL, which is a rematch of this year’s Super Bowl.
“Our ESPN Bet product will include a wide array of popular betting options, including featured bets, quick bets (micro-markets), player props, same game parlays, and more,” said Jay Snowden, CEO and President of Penn, in a press release accompanying Penn’s Q3 earnings announcement.
“Looking ahead, we will be introducing even deeper platform and media integrations with ESPN over the upcoming months, providing an unmatched and seamless media/betting.”
The rollout of ESPN Bet
Late last month, Penn revealed the logo for the ESPN Bet brand, which utilizes the classic ESPN font in a mint green and white colorway.
Starting November 14, ESPN Bet is aiming to launch in 16 states. Customers from some of the biggest U.S. sports betting markets will be eligible to play, including fans of sports betting in Illinois, Massachusetts and New Jersey.
Newly launched Kentucky sports betting will also gain ESPN Bet as a competitor. However, there is no word if EPSN Bet will be available for New York sports betting, which is the nation’s largest market.
Other states, some pending expected final approvals, are: Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
SportsCenter anchors Scott Van Pelt and Elle Duncan will headline an ESPN Bet advertising campaign moving forward. Additionally, ESPN’s Daily Wager program will undergo a rebranding process and will be known as ESPN Bet Live starting from November 10th.
Earlier this year, ESPN moved Daily Wager back to its in-house studio at the company headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut. It had previously spent two years broadcasting from Caesars Entertainment’s LINQ Hotel, surrounded by the famous Nevada casino venues of the Las Vegas Strip.
Interestingly, fans of ESPN and sports betting in Connecticut will not be able to use ESPN Bet just yet in the brand’s home state.
Penn’s Big Bet on ESPN
ESPN’s vast reach, with more than 105 million unique monthly digital visitors and a social media presence of more than 370 million fans, positions it as a dominant player in the sports media landscape. The integration with Penn Entertainment aims to provide a combined media and betting experience that leverages that huge following.
Penn’s incoming transition from Barstool Sportsbook to ESPN Bet marks the end of an unsuccessful venture for one of the biggest U.S. gambling operators.
Penn had initially collaborated with Barstool Sports, and later acquired the business at a valuation of $500 million.
However, when Penn dropped the brand to take up ESPSN, it was forced to sell the entirety of the outstanding shares of Barstool Media back to its founder, David Portnoy, for a mere $1. That was big success for Portnoy and a sting in the tail for Penn, who often found the controversial Barstool owner caused them trouble with regulators.
However, Penn retains the rights to 50% of the gross proceeds from any future sale or monetization event related to the brand.
The announcement of ESPN Bet‘s launch date coincides with Penn’s release of its Q3 results, which reported a loss of $724.8 million, primarily due to the divestiture of Barstool in August. Despite this, Penn’s revenue for its interactive gaming segment in Q3 saw an increase of 24.0%, amounting to $196.3 million.