Disney’s ESPN nears large partnership deal with DraftKings

Walt Disney Co’s (DIS.N) ESPN is nearing a large new partnership deal with sports-betting firm DraftKings Inc (DKNG.O), Bloomberg News reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The potential deal will allow the sports broadcaster to capitalize on the growing wave of legalized sports betting, according to the report, which did not give details of the financials or structure of the partnership.

Shares of DraftKings jumped 9% in extended trading on Thursday.

DraftKings declined Reuters request for comment, but pointed to its “long-standing standing relationship with ESPN”.

ESPN did not immediately respond to Reuters query.

ESPN has been looking to license its brand to major sports-betting companies for at least $3 billion over several years to take advantage of the booming online betting industry, the Wall Street Journal had reported in August.

Disney holds a stake in DraftKings, which it acquired as part of its acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox’s entertainment assets in March 2019.