DrafKings Confirm ESPN Deal But Disney Drops Out
The pace at which the daily fantasy sports market is growing is nothing short of spectacular. The fact that only a few years ago this sector was largely unknown makes it is even more impressive. Added to that is the likes of powerhouses like Yahoo announcing their intention to get involved in the DFS market. As we stand the two main players are still DraftKings and their larger rivals FanDuel.
We reported in April on Disney looking to possible invest $250 million in DraftKings. This deal had apparently fallen through but the good news is that Disney’s subsidiary ESPN is going ahead with their part of the deal. The exact details of the dal have not been announced but DraftKings CEO Jason Robins did confirm that both companies were in extended talks but the ESPN marketing deal did not include an equity investment.
He said,” There were a number of discussions which resulted in us coming together with a deal that we thought made the most sense for both companies. ESPN and DraftKings are both very excited about the partnership,”
ESPN spokeswoman Katin Arnold expressed their delight at the deal and said,” This is the deal that was the best strategic decision for our company.” Although the details of the deal were not disclosed, ESPN is the largest sports network in the world and DraftKings will be their exclusive daily fantasy sports provider which will give them access the their massive TV and Digital assets.
ESPN has a lot to gain from the deal and already has over 12 million players in fantasy contests on their websites. To put things in perspective FanDuel took in $622 million in game fees in 2014. DraftKings reported taking in $304 million and boldly claim they will be paying over $1 billion on prizes this year.