ESPN has entered into a multi-year sports betting deal with betting company Penn Entertainment.
The deal allows Penn Entertainment to use the ESPN brand for its online business. Penn will rebrand its current Sportsbook app into ESPN bet, which will cost Penn $1.5 billion for a decade of use.
Meanwhile, ESPN gets $500 million to invest in shares of Penn. Previous deals between ESPN and sports-betting companies like Caesars and DraftKings will likely be phased out in favor of the Penn deal.
The agreement is expected to net somewhere between $500 million and $1 billion in annual long-term earnings.
An interesting aspect of the deal was Penn’s decision to completely sell one of its assets – Barstool Sports. Barstool Sport, which rose to prominence in the sports sphere because of its decidedly non-politically correct content, is now 100% owned by its original creator, Dave Portnoy, who initially finalized a sale of his company to Penn in February of this year.
Portnoy celebrated on X, formerly known as Twitter, saying he no longer has to police his speech.
Six years ago, well before to the Barstool-Penn deal, ESPN and Barstool had reached an agreement under which Barstool would create a daily program on ESPN2.
The show, “Barstool Van Talk,” was nixed after a single episode.