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Volume 26 No. 7
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ESPN-Caesars Deal Includes Branded Las Vegas Studio

Disney is dipping another toe in the sports gambling space, committing to build an ESPN-branded studio on the Las Vegas strip at some point next year. The studio is part of a wide-ranging deal with Caesars that will be announced at Disney’s advertising upfront presentation today. It comes one week after Disney Chair & CEO Bob Iger told investors that his company would not be involved in the business of sports gambling, but would continue to produce sports gambling-related programming and sell sports gambling-related advertising. The deal also comes three months after Turner Sports signed a similar deal to build a Bleacher Report-branded studio inside the Caesars Palace sportsbook.

Specific financials about the Caesars deal weren’t given. The ESPN-branded studio will be built above The Book at LINQ Hotel & Casino. ESPN has committed to produce a still-to-be-formed weekly show from the studio that will be available via either a linear channel, ESPN+ or one of ESPN’s social media outlets. The network also plans to produce daily segments for its “Daily Wager” show, plus gambling-related content around bigger sporting events. As part of the deal, Caesars will be the official Odds Data Supplier across all ESPN platforms and ESPN will cite Caesars odds across all of its platforms. Caesars also has an undetermined number of ad commitments through the deal. ESPN VP/Business Development Mike Morrison and Caesars Exec VP & CMO Chris Holdren negotiated the deal.