ESPN Values Naming Rights at $3 Billion

ESPN Values Naming Rights at $3 Billion

Walt Disney owned sports media giant, ESPN after talks with major operators such as Caesars Entertainment and DraftKings with whom it already has existing partnerships, valued the naming rights for $3 billion for licensing the brand over several years. ESPN desires additional profits from the valuation considering the vast potential in the iGaming and sports betting markets in the United States in the future.

The potential buyer will acquire the brand name of ESPN along with the right to rename the sportsbooks in the name of ESPN’s media network. Also, the potential buyer may have to enter into an exclusive marketing agreement with ESPN that would have a commitment of minimum amount spent on advertising on ESPN’s platforms.

Legal Nod to Sports Betting

Since the United States Supreme Court judgment in 2018, striking down PASPA, states other than Nevada have been allowed to legally introduce wagering on sporting events. Projected income from sports betting is estimated at $4 billion approximately this year. 32 states that include the District of Columbia now offer legal betting on sports in some form or the other.

DraftKings has commented that the general policy of the company is not to comment on any specific details regarding the talks, Ceasers and ESPN have not responded to media inquiries at all. Therefore, the media reports can neither be denied nor confirmed.

In the past, ESPN was reluctant to enter the sports betting market and ESPN merely indulged in the odds and partnerships deals for some shows as regards sports betting integration. ESPN in the past catered to gambling audiences through telecasts and podcasts with shows such as Gambling Wager and avoided direct involvement with gambling deals or sports betting. The valuation and talks with Ceasers and DraftKings could signal a change in ESPN’s stance.

ESPN’s Timing:

It is uncertain whether talks with Ceasers, DraftKings, or some other potential buyer will succeed as ESPN’s valuation is a big ask and operators have already made investments in their own brands. Additional investment in ESPN’s naming rights would have to be justified and there may be a reluctance on the part of the operators to do so.

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Sherlock Gomes loves to write and express his views on anything related to Gaming, Gambling, & Casino. He has been covering Gaming for more than two years now.