On Tuesday, EPSN – the self-proclaimed ‘worldwide leader in sports’ – announced a deal to establish a branded studio at Caesars’ LINQ Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas to create betting-themed content. Some of this content will air on the broadcaster’s new weekday betting program Daily Wager, which is filmed at ESPN’s studio in Bristol, Connecticut. ESPN’s new LINQ studio plans to launch next year.
The deal also calls for Caesars to become ESPN’s official odds data supplier across TV and digital. However, ESPN apparently doesn’t plan to follow the path laid down by rival FOX Sports, which last week announced a new sports betting joint venture with PokerStars’ parent company The Stars Group.
A similar move into active participation in betting is being plotted by Toronto-based digital media outfit theScore, which last December announced plans to launch a sports betting product in New Jersey’s regulated market in partnership with the operators of the Monmouth Park Racetrack.
ESPN senior VP Connor Schell recently declared that the broadcaster planned to address wagering “in very responsible ways.” Schell said ESPN recognized that there were many sports fans interested in wagering-themed content and ESPN would be happy to provide those fans with “information and analytics” but stressed that the broadcaster was “not promoting betting in any way.”
This is the second such betting broadcasting deal for Caesars, which announced a similar tie-up in February with Turner Sports that will be run out of Caesars Palace on the Las Vegas Strip.
The Caesars-ESPN announcement comes one year to the day that the US Supreme Court struck down the PASPA federal sports betting prohibition, during which time seven additional states besides Nevada have launched legal sports betting markets and numerous other states have either approved the necessary legislation or are debating doing so.