Disney, DraftKings Deal Possible But Not Likely

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:
Mar/23/2015
Disney, DraftKings Deal Probable But Not Likely

Rumors have been circulating that ESPN and its parent company Disney may be looking to back one of the largest daily fantasy sports sites Draftkings.  The odds of this happening: Not likely.

Andrew Wiggins, co-founder of DraftKings acquired DFS site DraftDay.com noted that “the article reports that talks between DraftKings and Disney are only in the early phases, so expectations should be tempered until we hear something concrete.”

Chris Grove of ODF Report noted the obvious as to why a deal might not happen, the most prominent of which is Disney’s general aversion to gambling / gambling-like activities. 

DraftKings CEO Jason Robbins has already immersed himself in the world of online gambling, perhaps to the chagrin of Mickey Mouse and Snow White.  Robbins is slated to be a speaker at next month’s iGaming North America online gambling conference.  The DraftKings CEO currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA), an organization that itself had previously frowned upon tie-ins with the gambling sector.

DraftKings is the second-largest operator in the DFS space by traffic and revenue with industry leader FanDuel rumored to be considering a new round of funding that will propel it to the $1bn valuation mark.

The multi-million dollar daily fantasy sports industry witnessed explosive growth in just the last six months with sites like DraftKings joining forces with professional sports franchises like the New England Patriots and New York Rangers. 

Since 2006, fantasy sports, which includes traditional season long leagues in addition to daily fantasy contests, has grown from USD $1.6 billion industry to a USD $15+ billion industry.

"It's meteoric rise is considered the tip of the iceberg, given the new dynamic of Daily Fantasy Sports. In the old days," notes Marc Lesnick, organizer of the first ever Daily Fantasy Sports Expo, which will take place in Miami Beach August 6-7.

ODF Report also cites other potential obstacles for a Disney/DraftKings deal that include the long-term viability of the DFS vertical and the relatively low barriers for Disney creating their own, standalone product.

- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com

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