The Walt Disney Company, which owns ESPN, is not going to be getting into “facilitating gambling” anytime soon.
The news came from Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger when asked a question about sports betting during a recent Disney’s earnings call.
Disney’s Response On Sports Betting
Here was Iger’s response to the question:
I don’t see The Walt Disney Company, certainly in the near term, getting involved in the business of gambling, in effect, by facilitating gambling in any way.
I do think that there’s plenty of room, and ESPN has done some of this already and they may do more to provide information in coverage of sports, as a for instance, that would be relevant to and of particular interest to gambling and not be shy about it, basically being fairly overt about it. But getting into the business of gambling, I rather doubt it.
What Could Not “Facilitating” Mean?
Iger’s response stating that Disney won’t be getting into “facilitating gambling” could mean a few different things. ESPN once considered investing in DraftKings back when it was still just a daily fantasy sports site, but ultimately opted for an advertising deal of $250 million.
While it seems clear that Disney and ESPN won’t be getting into the bookmaking business anytime soon, there are other ways they could eventually dip into the market.
With sports betting becoming more popular across the country as more states move to legalize the issue, more programming on ESPN that focuses on gambling and sports betting could be in the mix.
More revenue could be raked in by ESPN by offering more sports betting advertisements to its viewers. They have already served sports betting advertisements over the past couple months to New Jersey residents.