Online Bookmakers News DISNEY CEO ACKNOWLEDGES ‘NOTEWORTHY’ SPORTS BETTING OPPORTUNITY

DISNEY CEO ACKNOWLEDGES ‘NOTEWORTHY’ SPORTS BETTING OPPORTUNITY

Author: Yan Zhylinski

Bob Chapek, Disney CEO has admitted that ESPN, its broadcasting platform is the ‘ideal’ place for sports wagering and as such, Disney has a ‘very significant opportunity’ across the gambling market.

DISNEY CEO ACKNOWLEDGES ‘NOTEWORTHY’ SPORTS BETTING OPPORTUNITY

Bob Chapek was speaking on the corporation’s fourth quarter results for the period ended September 30th. In his speech, Chapek said the Disney will soon broaden its operations and into the sports betting market through their ESPN platform. “We’re also moving toward a greater presence in online sports betting. And given our reach and scale, we have the potential to partner with third parties in this space in a very meaningful way.

“Suffice to say, we continue to see enormous opportunity in sports and all of this, the rights deals, our innovative programming, and the flexibility achieved through our DTC business, which saw ESPN+ subscribers increased by 66% over the past fiscal year alone,” said Chapek.

On being questioned regarding a probable move into matters sports betting, Chapekasserted that any move made by Disney will be purely ‘driven by the consumer’, further adding that the corporation has already finalized ‘substantial research’ into the industry.

Chapekfurther commented by saying: “We do believe that sports betting is a very significant opportunity for the company. And it’s all driven by the consumer.

“It’s driven by the consumer, particularly the younger consumer that will replenish the sports fans over time and their desire to have gambling as part of their sports experience. It’s not necessarily a lean-back. It’s a little bit of a lean-forward-type experience that they’re looking for. And as we follow the consumer, we necessarily have to seriously consider getting into gambling in a bigger way. And ESPN is a perfect platform for this.”

Disney Corporation enjoyed a good year, and did well under the expectations of Wall Street. However, the company’s brightest spot is on the area of sports. Over the fiscal year, their streaming service, ESPN+ saw an increase of subscribers by an impressive margin of 66%. Sports events contributed to 90% of most-watched ESPN’s broadcasts on TV networks owned by Disney.

Chapek noted that gambling had the potential of helping the firm by coming up with new streams of revenue, while attracting and subsequently maintaining a younger audience.

“We have done substantial research in terms of the impact to, not only the ESPN brand but the Disney brand in terms of consumers’ changing perceptions of the acceptability of gambling. And what we’re finding is that there is a very significant installation. Gambling does not have the cache now that it had, say, 10 or 20 years ago.

“And we have some concerns as a company about our ability to get in it without having a brand withdrawal. But I can tell you that given all the research that we’ve done recently that that is not the case. It actually strengthens the brand of ESPN when you have a betting component, and it has no impact on the Disney brand.

“Therefore, to go after that demographic opportunity plus the, of course, not insignificant revenue implications, that is something that we’re keenly interested in and are pursuing aggressively,” reiterated Bob Chapek.

Right now, ESPN already has its feet in the sports betting arena, with the platform entering into two separate agreements with DraftKings and Caesars Entertainment last year. These two deals are inclusive of co-exclusive links consolidation across all ESPN digital platforms that connect fans to bookies from DraftKings, William Hill, and Caesars Entertainment brand.

Published: 12/15/2021

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