We’ve seen quite a few interesting business decisions come from The Walt Disney Company in the past few months.
There were thousands of job cuts, restructuring initiatives, and multiple policy changes. CEO Bob Iger seems to be working to get Disney back on track financially. And now, a major decision has been made that will affect one of Disney’s businesses — ESPN.
ESPN announced that they’re partnering with PENN Entertainment to launch ESPN BET, a branded sportsbook for the United States. This fall, PENN Entertainment will rebrand its current sportsbook and relaunch as ESPN BET in the 16 legalized betting states where it’s licensed.
As part of the rebrand, PENN Entertainment’s app, website, and mobile website will all be getting an overhaul.
“Our primary focus is always to serve sports fans and we know they want both betting content and the ability to place bets with less friction from within our products,” said Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman of ESPN. “The strategy here is simple: to give fans what they’ve been requesting and expecting from ESPN. PENN Entertainment is the perfect partner to build an unmatched user experience for sports betting with ESPN BET.”
In the past few years, ESPN has increased multi-platform sports betting content, adding digital programming, radio segments, and editorial coverage. Sports betting has been a controversial topic within the Disney company. Former CEO Bob Chapek was outspoken about wanting the company to get into betting, but current CEO Bob Iger has been more reluctant.
At a conference earlier this year, Iger spoke about his hesitancy to get Disney into the world of sports betting, saying, “There are opportunities not for us to go into the betting business, but we’ve talked about this and it’s something that my predecessor was very interested in — to incorporate elements, we’re already doing it in betting — Fox is doing it too…into the sports programming.”
He went on to say that Disney might inevitably have to get involved with sports betting since there was such high demand. Iger mentioned that sports betting is important for young consumers. It seems that consumer desires have won out in this scenario.
We’ll keep you updated with any more news about ESPN BET and the changes coming soon. Stay tuned to AllEars for the latest.
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