Disney set for sports betting launch via ESPN

Business News

Bob Chapek, the CEO of Walt Disney Company, has said the company will expand into sports betting through ESPN.

“We’re also moving towards a greater presence in online sports betting, and given our reach and size, we have the potential to work with third-party vendors in this space in very meaningful ways,” Chapek said on Wednesday during the company’s fourth event on quarterly earnings .

The company had a weak year, reporting earnings below Wall Street’s expectations. But sport is a bright spot. Streaming service ESPN + grew subscribers by 66% in the fiscal year, 90% of the most watched shows on Disney’s own TV channels were sporting events last year, and Disney signed a 10-year NFL rights deal starting in 2023. ESPN’s advertising revenue was unchanged in the fourth quarter compared to the same period last year.

Chapek said gambling could help the company create new revenue streams and attract and retain younger audiences.

“We believe sports betting is a very significant opportunity for the company and everything is consumer driven,” says Chapek. “It’s consumer driven, especially the younger consumer, who replenishes sports fans over time and their desire to have gambling as part of their sports experience.”