DraftKings & ESPN Start A Co-exclusive content integration agreement

If you’re one of the countless numbers of people who enjoy watching and following and perhaps betting on major sports, either on a casual basis or as an avid fan, the media giant ESPN needs no introduction.

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If you’re a sports bettor and have access to the NJ sportsbooks, another name that should need no introduction is DraftKings.

A brief history of DraftKings Sportsbook in New Jersey

DraftKings Sportsbook is headquartered in Boston. The site was established in 2012 by Jason Robins, Matt Kalish, and Paul Liberman.

However, it is important to note that DraftKings got its start strictly in the area of Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS). In fact, even when full-scale sports betting was illegal not only in New Jersey but in virtually all US states, DraftKings was able to establish its presence legally in certain jurisdictions as a daily fantasy sports operator.

DraftKings debuted in New Jersey, but strictly as a DFS site, in August 2017. It became the 16th state to do so.

A year later, on Aug. 6, 2018, the company made an even bigger name for itself in New Jersey. Two months after sports betting became legal in this state, it became the first operator to launch an online sportsbook and mobile app for NJ players to go along with its already existing separate DFS offerings. You can read all about the DraftKings NJ digital sportsbook here on NJ Gambling Websites.

Then in November 2018, DraftKings followed up with a retail sportsbook at Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City.

Today DraftKings ranks as one of the top generating sportsbooks in New Jersey. Furthermore, as DraftKings’ first ever full-scale digital and retail sportsbook, it has served as the model for the growing list of other DraftKings sportsbooks that have launched subsequently in other states, including West Virginia, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and more. DraftKings has also expanded into the international market, currently offering DFS products in eight foreign countries.

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DraftKings official partnerships with the major leagues–and now ESPN

Now that an increasing number of US states have legalized or are working on legalizing sports betting, the major leagues have no choice but to embrace it. Thus, it is no surprise at all that DraftKings has already entered into multiple partnerships with the major leagues. DraftKings is the official DFS partner of the NFL, MLB, and PGA Tour, an authorized gaming operator of the NBA and MLB, and an official betting operator of the PGA.

But that’s not all. As of Sept. 14, 2020, DraftKings has also partnered with ESPN.

What the multi-year co-exclusive content agreement between DraftKings and ESPN entails

According to a Sept. 14, 2020 press release from DraftKings, the two organizations have entered into a multi-year partnership. Effective immediately, DraftKings Inc. becomes a “co-exclusive sportsbook link-out provider and exclusive daily fantasy sports provider” for ESPN digital platforms.

Under the terms of the agreement, DraftKings will be able to use ESPN’s widely accessed digital platforms to promote its own products and services. Links across ESPN digital platforms will connect interested sports fans to DraftKings’ offerings. You can access the links by visiting www.espn.com on your desktop or mobile device or with the ESPN Fantasy app.

In addition, existing and future ESPN studio shows will include segments promoting DraftKings, starting with the DraftKings sportsbook daily fantasy sports operation.

More about ESPN

ESPN is the acronym for Entertainment Sports Programming Network. It is the world’s leading sports entertainment enterprise, featuring eight US television networks, direct-to-consumer ESPN+, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com and the ESPN mobile app, ESPN International, and more.

ABC, Inc. owns 80 percent of the company, and Hearst owns the remaining 20 percent.

ESPN broadcasts some of the most widely viewed major league sporting events, including Monday night football and other NFL games, along with selected MLB and NBA games. You can also watch NASCAR and Indy Racing League (IRL) events, and all major golf events and tennis Grand Slam events as well as major international events in soccer, cricket, and other sports on ESPN.

Many sports fans also rely on ESPN as their go-to source not only for up-to-the-minute scores and game recaps for games not broadcast locally but also for important sports news and commentary.

Also, now that betting on the games is becoming increasingly accepted as an American pastime, the commentators have become very outspoken about their picks to win or cover the point spread as well. This does not mean that you should necessarily follow them and bet the same way, and definitely not bet the house on their say-so because they are frequently wrong. But you do get these professionals’ opinions free of charge for whatever they are worth.

Summary and conclusion

Just as you would expect, both DraftKings and ESPN are very excited to embark on their new partnership.

Jason Robins, Co-Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of DraftKings had this to say:

“We look forward to this collaboration to exclusively showcase DraftKings’ daily fantasy content and offerings while also advancing further visibility and mainstream adoption of our regulated sports betting products.”

Meanwhile, Mark Walker, Senior Vice President of Business Development & Innovation for ESPN acknowledged ESPN’s own broadened role with regard to sports betting. It needs to address the fact that for a tremendous number of fans, watching sports events and betting them are now closely interrelated.

He brought that point out in the following statement:

“Sports betting is quickly becoming endemic to the overall experience of the overall experience of the sports fan.”

“To us, that means greater opportunities to innovate and deliver the best and most seamless experience for fans, which will ultimately expand ESPN’s brand and audience and increase engagement. It is an industry that we will continue to actively pursue as it grows and evolves.”

In summary, the new co-exclusive content integration agreement between the two sports powerhouses looks like a win-win-win–for DraftKings, ESPN, and you, the fans.

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