Details of ESPN-Caesars partnership
ESPN, one of the biggest sports networks in the US, will set up a studio on the Las Vegas Strip under a new partnership deal. The network is partnering with the Caesars Entertainment Corporation to create a new ESPN studio in the Linq Hotel in Las Vegas.
The studio will create content related to sports betting and will be shared across the globe. Details of the financial arrangement are not available.
This new studio, scheduled to launch in 2020, will play a key role during significant sporting contests. Content for both social media and digital will be shot there. ESPN already airs a show focusing on sports betting, the Daily Wager.
ESPN’s Vice President for Business Development Mike Morrison said: “Working with a category leader like Caesars Entertainment will help us serve these highly engaged, diverse sports fans with the best and most relevant content possible. The sports betting landscape has changed and fans are coming to us for this kind of information more than ever before.”
Sports betting capital
Las Vegas is still the leader in sports betting. The city now has two major sports teams, he Vegas Golden Knights (NHL) and the Las Vegas Raiders (NFL), and has hosted the NBA Summer League and the NFL Draft.
The city is looking to cement its position as the premier destination for sports and entertainment on the globe. Its goal is to convert casual fans into advocates for sports betting. Fan engagement will play a key role in the success of the sports betting sector.
Casinos and networks embrace sports betting
Caesars Entertainment and some of its competitors have been making a lot of moves in the sports betting space. Caesars is the official gaming sponsor for the NFL and has also bought a stake in DraftKings, which is a sportsbook operator in numerous states. MGM Resorts is the official gaming partner for MLB, the NHL, NBA, and MLS.
Fox Sports is making moves in the sports betting space, buying a 4.99% share in the Bet StarsGroup for $236m (£183m). The companies will join forces to create a sports betting offering called Fox Bet. Fox has the option to purchase half of the Bet Stars operations in the next decade as part of this deal.
This is the biggest investment a media company has made in the sports betting space to date. The Stars Group owns PokerStars and also bought the popular European sports betting operator Sky Bet in 2018 for $4.7bn (£3.7m).
This new platform, which will launch by the end of 2019, will actually be two separate platforms. One will be entirely free to play and players will win prizes if they successfully predict the outcomes of certain sporting events. The other platform will be a traditional sportsbook.
The idea is that the free-to-play platform will attract casual sports fans who can then be converted to the real money sportsbook platform. Fox already has a sports betting show on its FSI channel called “Lock It In.”
The Sinclair Broadcast Group is also making moves in the sports betting space. The company recently bought 21 regional sports networks from Disney for $10.6bn. These networks will play a key part in their efforts to establish themselves in the sports betting sector.