• Loading stock data...
Sunday, May 19, 2024

ESPN Taps Brakes on DraftKings Tie-Up

  • ESPN is determining its approach to sports betting with returning Disney CEO Bob Iger.
  • The company has said it won't act as a sportsbook.
Man wearing ESPN logo on back of shirt while court side at mens college basketball game
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN isn’t quite ready to put all its chips on DraftKings.

Jimmy Pitaro, chairman of the network, played down reports that ESPN was nearing a sports betting tie-up with DraftKings, saying no deal was imminent while speaking at a Sports Business Journal conference.

  • Disney’s surprise ousting of CEO Bob Chapek in favor of longtime chief executive Bob Iger has put the company’s plans in flux.
  • Pitaro said previously that ESPN will not receive bets, hold money, or set lines, but could push further into sports betting in other ways.
  • Chapek was an advocate for making ESPN a sports betting destination, saying that younger sports fans expect it and consumers see separation between ESPN and Disney’s family-friendly image.

Activist investor Dan Loeb had pushed Disney to spin off ESPN so that it could more fully embrace sports betting.

Stream On

Disney deepened its already substantial investment into streaming this week when it purchased the remaining 15% of BAMTech it didn’t already own from Major League Baseball for $900 million.

Disney Pays $900M for MLB’s Stake in Its Streaming Tech

Disney is buying the final piece of BAMTech that it didn’t already…
November 29, 2022

BAMTech, the core technological provider for ESPN+ and its other streaming services, was launched in 2015 as part of MLB Advanced Media.

Disney steadily grew its stake from a 33% share purchased for about $1 billion in 2016 to 75% the following year. Last year, it bought the NHL’s 10% stake for $350 million.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read


DSG’s Path to Revival Faces Major Pushback from MLB, NBA, and NHL

Three major pro leagues raise further concerns about the bankrupt Bally Sports parent.

NFL’s Christmas Shake-Up: Netflix and Amazon Will Take It Over in ’25

This is the new-age NFL, where anything goes, if the price is right.

Amazon’s Thursday Night Fever: Banking on Caitlin Clark’s Impact

Clark makes her home debut for the Indiana Fever on Thursday night.

NFL’s Schedule Points to Network Strategies: Chiefs Lead, Texans Rise

The two-time defending champions are a fixture across many of the league’s tentpole events.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

MLB, NBA, NHL Broadcasting Future Goes to Court


Featured Today

Michael Block signs autographs on the 18th hole during day three of practice for the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on Wednesday, May 15, 2024.

‘I Prefer It This Way’: How Life Works for PGA Club Pros

Here’s how life works for the qualifiers at golf’s second major.
February 5, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; The grounds of the Capitol Building empty out following the conclusion of President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech on February 5, 2019.
May 18, 2024

‘A Breathtaking Lobbying Campaign’: The NCAA’s Sophisticated Effort to Save Amateurism

Inside the carefully coordinated, multimillion-dollar operation to end the athletes’ rights era.
May 14, 2024

The WNBA Was Forged in Houston. Why Won’t It Go Back There?

Houston’s a perfect fit for expansion. The league isn’t considering it yet.
May 9, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) stands with the team during the national anthem on Thursday, May 9, 2024, during the preseason game against the Atlanta Dream at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
May 12, 2024

‘Perfect Storm’: The Rise of Local WNBA Broadcast Pacts

With national attention reaching new heights, regional coverage could dictate the future.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Live Nation
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers

Former Ohtani Interpreter Pleading Guilty to Bank Fraud, False Tax Return

Ippei Mizuhara faces up to 33 years in federal prison for his crimes.
Mystic Dan
May 6, 2024

Kentucky Derby Roars Back With Big TV Numbers, Inks NBC Extension

The Triple Crown horse race posts an extended set of audience and betting increases.
May 7, 2024

Commissioners Grapple with Power Limits Amid Sports Betting Boom

The NBA’s Adam Silver acknowledges ‘we only have so much control.’

Major League Rugby’s Vision for American Rugby

How Major League Rugby is leading the Rugby renaissance in the U.S.
May 5, 2024

Can ESPN Bet Get on Solid Footing Before Football Season?

Penn Entertainment missed its quarterly estimates.
May 2, 2024

ESPN’s Pat McAfee Jokes About ESPN Bet’s Poor Performance

‘You get knocked down, you come back!’ he said.
May 1, 2024

New Report Shows How Bookie Laundered Ohtani’s Stolen Cash

Ohtani’s stolen money wound up in a Las Vegas casino.
April 17, 2024

NBA’s Lifetime Ban Highlights Surge in Gambling-Related Incidents

The NBA’s lifetime ban on Jontay Porter marks a crescendo of escalating incidents across the industry.