Less than a week prior to its launch in the U.S, ESPN BET is embracing lessons learned from their earlier acquisition of Score Media and Gaming Inc in Canada. Last month, PENN Entertainment Inc. acquired the Score Media and Gaming Inc. (or theScore) for approximately $2 billion. At that time, theScore was an extremely popular sports media app and a not-as-popular online sportsbook that could not accept bets in Toronto. Today, theScore media app and theScore Bet sportsbook are working together in the Canadian province of Ontario, creating a seamless user experience combining sports news and betting opportunities.
PENN CEO, Jay Snowden, announced at the third annual ESPN Edge Conference in New York the company’s plans to replicate this successful model in the U.S with ESPN BET. The vision for ESPN BET is to provide users with an integrated experience directly from the ESPN app and fantasy platforms, streamlining the process of placing bets. Snowden stated that come launch day, users will be able to effortlessly transition from browsing stories and checking scores to placing bets, all within the ESPN app.
ESPN and PENN are aiming to disrupt the U.S. legal sports betting market, which is currently dominated by DraftKings and FanDuel, by offering a unique and seamless betting experience. The two companies are investing an impressive amount of money into the 10-year, $2-billion betting partnership with ESPN, even abandoning the Barstool Sportsbook brand for this venture.
ESPN BET is scheduled to debut in 17 states on November 14, with approval from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission received earlier this week. ESPN will use the platform provided by ESPN BET across its digital and television networks. The app will also feature ESPN BET-branded “six-pack” odds to help cultivate the seamless experience the companies are striving for. PENN claims that their integrated media strategy with theScore and theScore Bet in Ontario serves as a blueprint for their success with ESPN BET in the U.S.
The companies are also planning to integrate sports media personalities into the betting app, with picks and parlays of the day from the likes of Scott Van Pelt and other ESPN personalities. These integrations will be live at launch and planned to expand in the weeks and months following.