Subsequent On SportsCenter: DFS, As Disney And ESPN Guess USD250mm On DraftKings

A heavy hitter is about to affix the daily fantasy sportsbook trade, as Disney is investing 1 / 4 of a billion USD in DraftKings, in response to media experiences.

The information comes simply weeks after rumors of a pending deal between Disney and DraftKings.

The main points of the deal

Tales got here out nearly on the similar time from the Wall Road Journal and Road & Smith’s SportsBusiness Day by day International Journal.

  • The WSJ reported that the funding shall be USD250 million, and can end in a USD900 million valuation for DraftKings.
  • Per the WSJ, the deal features a assure of over half a billion USD in advert spend by DraftKings on ESPN’s platforms.
  • The SBJ story didn’t provide actual numbers for the deal, saying it was value “lots of of tens of millions of USD for as much as a 20 % stake in DraftKings.”
  • In accordance with SBJ, FanDuel was additionally supplied the chance to present ESPN/Disney a pitch.

ESPN = linchpin

Probably the most attention-grabbing a part of the deal, apart from the funding itself, is the ESPN facet of the connection. From the WSJ story:

In return for Disney’s funding, DraftKings has dedicated to spend massive sums of promoting USD – simply north of USD500 million – on ESPN’s platforms in coming years, the individuals stated. That provision is a serious attraction of the deal for Disney.

FanDuel can proceed to promote on ESPN however gained’t have the premium positions afforded to DraftKings.

Paired with info from the SBJ story — that the promoting dedication was for 3 years — that breaks down into roughly USD167 million a 12 months on tv commercials and digital promotion. Any approach you slice it, that’s some huge cash.

The deal will probably give DraftKings unique positioning subsequent to ESPN’s fantasy content material. ESPN at the moment caters its fantasy content material largely to seasonlong fantasy gamers, however one would think about that this deal will lead ESPN to pushing extra DFS content material/technique/recommendation in its programming and on its web site.

ESPN/Disney additionally selected its plan of action in DFS with this transfer. Whereas some thought ESPN would possibly ultimately launch its personal DFS providing, they’ve hitched their wagon to DraftKings.

“No. 1, Disney was simply form of reluctant to get on board with something that resembles playing,” stated Adam Krejcik, Managing Director of Digital & Interactive Gaming at Eilers Analysis, an knowledgeable within the DFS area.

“Clearly they bought over that half. No. 2, in the event that they launched [DFS] themselves organically, in home, that creates an actual difficulty for his or her advert facet of issues, the place that they had already been benefitting,” Krejcik continued.

“Looks as if the advert facet of issues gained out.”

Krejcik famous that the quantity DraftKings will reportedly spend on ESPN this 12 months probably eclipsed all advert spend by all fantasy websites final 12 months. And that’s with practically ubiquitous adverts on ESPN tv and radio already.

Advert purchase facet sparks dicussion

What does this imply for the remainder of the DFS trade?


Will the Disney funding pace up FanDuel’s fundraising efforts? In February, there have been experiences that the positioning was searching for USD100 million, and a valuation that might surpass a billion USD. FanDuel nonetheless sits because the trade chief, however clearly DraftKings has designs on altering that, as quickly as this 12 months.

Aside from one other spherical of funding, do they make any adjustments? Krejcik says he might see them limiting their ESPN advert spend and take a look at different shops (For instance, NFL, MLB and NHL broadcasts, Fox Sports activities, regional sportsbook networks, and so forth.) It doesn’t matter what, it’s unlikely FanDuel stands pat.


There’s been numerous change in a brief time period for DFS — Main League Baseball expanded its relationship with DraftKings this week.

Whereas many will speculate on the NFL, the actions of others will in all probability not outcome within the league choosing sides with DraftKings or FanDuel within the fast future.

Amaya / PokerStars

The Disney funding probably takes the potential for Amaya Gaming buying DraftKings off the desk, after information this week that PokerStars can be launching DFS this 12 months.

Krecjik additionally believes this might affect PokerStars’ entrance into the daily fantasy sportsbook sector.

“If they (PokerStars/Amaya) wish to actually get aggressive within the U.S., the bar’s set, proper?” Krejcik stated. “It’s a must to spend USD150 million a 12 months on gross sales and advertising and marketing. And that’s a lot. That’s nearly what they spent globally on PokerStars and Full Tilt. … If they’re going to do this (get into the American DFS market) it’s going to be dilutive to their earnings.”

In the long run, it represents one other escalation within the battle between DraftKings and FanDuel for the hearts and minds of daily fantasy gamers.

“It’s going to be a full-on advertising and marketing conflict this 12 months,” Krejcik stated. “If this doesn’t drive mainstream consciousness [of DFS], I’m not certain what’s going to.”

Cash retains pouring in

Even if DFS websites haven’t managed to show a revenue but, that isn’t making traders shrink back.

In accordance with inner estimates from LegalSportsReport, your complete daily fantasy sportsbook trade generated below USD100 million in whole income throughout 2014. In accordance the bull case situation from Eilers, whole trade income might hit USD2.5 billion by 2020.

Distinction these numbers with the USD200mm+ in publicly-reported backing secured by DFS corporations previous to immediately’s funding by Disney.

Photograph by Rob Poetsch used below license CC BY 2.0.