• Loading stock data...
Wednesday, April 17, 2024
  • -
    days
  • -
    hours
  • -
    minutes
  • -
    seconds

Disney’s Iger: PENN Entertainment Outbid Competitors ‘By Far’

  • Company says its partner for ESPN Bet easily outdistanced rival bids
  • Consideration of potential ESPN equity partners driven more by strategy than cash
Bob Iger of Disney
Shutterstock

It wasn’t a mob movie, but Disney CEO Bob Iger still received an offer he couldn’t refuse when it came to forming ESPN Bet.

Speaking with analysts on the company’s quarterly earnings call Wednesday, Iger said the $2 billion-plus deal with PENN Entertainment to create the new ESPN-branded sports betting service came down to overwhelming economics — and a desire to drive additional reach and consumption on ESPN platforms.

“We believe there’s an opportunity to significantly grow engagement across ESPN consumers, particularly young consumers,” Iger said. “And why PENN? Because PENN stepped up in a very aggressive way and made an offer to us that was better than any of the competitive offers — by far.”

The agreement ends Disney’s long-running reluctance to enter the sports betting space, followed by a lengthy internal consideration with “a number of entities over a fairly long period of time,” Iger said, before settling on PENN.

“We like that PENN is going to use this as a growth engine for their business, and we actually believe and trust in their ability to use this partnership to grow their business nicely, while we grow ours,” Iger said.

Potential Partners

Meanwhile, interest from potential equity partners in acquiring a portion of ESPN also remains strong. But Iger said the ongoing consideration to sell various linear television assets is driven more by strategic considerations.

“We’re not necessarily looking for a cash infusion when it comes to potential partners,” Iger said. “We are looking for partners that are going to help ESPN transition to a [direct-to-consumer] model. That can come in the form of content, or distribution and marketing support, or both.”

Iger’s deliberation in this space is being supported by a pair of former senior colleagues. 

Linkedin
Whatsapp
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Chicago’s Sports Media About to Experience a Major Shake-Up

Three Chicago pro teams’ media rights could shift to Stadium as soon as this fall.

To Sum Up Current Commanders, Coyotes Situations: It’s Complicated

The Commanders hire a Capitol Hill insider as the team continues its stadium pursuit.

Caitlin Clark Drives Massive WNBA Draft Audience for ESPN

Clark’s coronation was the most-watched WNBA telecast in decades.

For Caitlin Clark and Other Rookies: Now a 29-Day Sprint to WNBA Debut

The league regular season starts swiftly after college basketball ends.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Can MLS Get Bigger Than MLB?

0:00
0:00

Featured Today

Women’s Basketball Finally Has a TV Deal to Match the Excitement. Now What?

A lucrative new media-rights contract could rectify problems of the past, but the future of March Madness media rights is anyone’s guess.
Mar 16, 2024; Washington, D.C., USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack forward DJ Burns Jr. (30) cuts the net after defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels for the ACC Conference Championship at Capital One Arena.
April 6, 2024

How Two College Seniors Helped DJ Burns Cash In on a Final Four Run

Two college seniors are facilitating deals for NC State’s big man.
Mar 31, 2024; Portland, OR, USA; NCAA officials measure the three point line while coaches from the Texas Longhorns and NC State Wolfpack watch with referees in the finals of the Portland Regional of the NCAA Tournament at the Moda Center center.
April 1, 2024

NCAA Has No One to Blame for Latest Women’s March Madness Transgressions

NCAA is still making avoidable mistakes three years after a complete overhaul.
Nov 16, 2015; Bloomington, IN, USA; General view of the championship banners at Assembly Hall prior to the game between Austin Peay and Indiana.
March 31, 2024

How to Make It in Basketball: Become a Manager at Indiana

Inside the Hoosiers’ unglamorous, profoundly rewarding incubator for basketball’s biggest names.

Careers

Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Nike
Multiple - USA Careers
NBA
Multiple - USA Careers
Dunham's Sports
Multiple - USA Careers

Jontay Porter Bet ‘Millions’ on FanDuel Account: Report

The Raptors forward is currently under league investigation.
April 11, 2024

Following a Long List of Blows, MLB Walks for a Change

Officials say the Dodgers’ superstar is ‘considered a victim in this case.’
April 12, 2024

A Decade-Long Timeline of the Shohei Ohtani–Ippei Mizuhara Saga

Ohtani’s former interpreter has been federally charged with bank fraud.
Sponsored

Rapid Returns: How Technology Is Getting You Back to Your Seat

How Oracle’s POS technology is helping fans get back to their seats faster.
April 11, 2024

Shohei Ohtani’s Interpreter Stole $16 Million to Cover Gambling Losses, Feds Say

Authorities detailed how Ippei Mizuhara hid bank transfers from Ohtani.
April 10, 2024

Shohei Ohtani’s Interpreter Pleading Guilty to New Charges, per Report

Ippei Mizuhara is said to have lost over $4.5M of Ohtani’s money.
April 2, 2024

Sportsbooks Say Iowa-LSU Smashed Records

It’s the new all-time most-wagered women’s sports competition on FanDuel.
March 27, 2024

NCAA Wants to End Prop Betting on College Sports. Will It Succeed?

The announcement comes just days after the NBA began investigating a prop scandal.