Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN has signed a long-term exclusive agreement with casino operator Penn Entertainment Inc., licensing its brand for sports betting and deepening the media giant’s ties to the growing online gambling business.
Penn will have the 10-year right to use the ESPN Bet name in the US, the company said in a statement Tuesday. Penn will rebrand its Barstool sportsbook with ESPN starting this fall. The company will continue to operate as theScore Bet in Canada.
Penn also said Tuesday it’s selling all of its Barstool Sports Inc. subsidiary to David Portnoy, who founded the sports and pop culture media company, in exchange for a non-compete and other agreements. Penn has the right to get half of the proceeds received by Portnoy in any subsequent sale of Barstool.
Penn shares jumped as much as 35% in after-market trading to $33.45, while rival sports-betting operator DraftKings Inc. fell as much as 10%. Disney shares were mostly unchanged.