DraftKings, FanDuel Both Seeking To Purchase The Athletic


The race for sportsbooks to become major media players continued Monday, as it was reported by The Information that both DraftKings and FanDuel are among numerous companies that are bidding for The Athletic. Previously, the sports news site was in talks to be purchased by either Axios or The New York Times, but both deals fell through.

The Athletic has hired LionTree, an investment firm, to explore other potential deals, with the company seeking a valuation of $750 million. The article did not say what other companies are looking to purchase The Athletic.

Race for media dominance

In the highly competitive world of sports betting, numerous sportsbooks are seeking to expand their footprint into the media world. And, thus far, no company has made a bigger splash than DraftKings. It purchased Vegas Sports Information Network for an undisclosed price back in March, and then, a month later, entered into a deal to distribute the Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz.

Not to be denied, Caesars made a big splash this year, hiring former ESPNers Trey Wingo and Kenny Mayne, and the rumor mill has been churning with rumblings that Adam Schefter might make the jump to Caesars after his ESPN contract runs out next year.

Of course, Penn National Gaming pretty much kicked things off by partnering with Barstool Sports to launch the Barstool Sportsbook, and then doubled down by purchasing theScore, which, in addition to being a sportsbook, also serves as Canada’s main online sports information website.

And there’s plenty more to come. For instance, Bally’s, which currently operates online sportsbooks in Colorado and Iowa, has partnered with Sinclair Broadcasting, which has resulted in 21 former FOX Sports regional networks being rebranded under the Bally’s name. But the biggest fish yet to be fried in the media world is ESPN, which is seeking to license its name for upwards of $3 billion to a willing sportsbook partner. 

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Author: Wanda Peters