Caesars, ESPN Partner on Studio at The Linq
The deal will bring a second sports betting TV hub to Caesars’ Las Vegas Strip portfolio. The studio will serve as an outpost of ESPN’s “Daily Wager” show and will extend Caesars’ brand reach to every facet of the cable giant’s programming, including its website and mobile app.
Caesars Entertainment has scored a deal with ESPN to bring an ESPN-branded TV studio focused on sports betting to its Linq Las Vegas Hotel & Casino on the Strip.
The partnership calls for the creation of sports betting-themed content to air with segments of ESPN’s recently launched “Daily Wager” betting show and the integration of Caesars’ sports betting data and branding across all facets of the cable network’s programming.
ESPN said the studio will serve as its Las Vegas hub and will contribute to its linear, digital and social shows as well as ESPN.com and the ESPN app.
“The sports betting landscape has changed, and fans are coming to us for this kind of information more than ever before,” said Mike Morrison, vice president of business development at the network. “We are poised to expand our coverage in a big way.”
Slated for launch next year, the studio will be the second for Caesars on the Strip following a partnership concluded with Turner Sports in February that will create an outpost of Turner’s “Bleacher Report” show inside the sportsbook at Caesars Palace.
Caesars has been aggressive in seizing opportunities presented by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last May that voided a longstanding congressional ban on sports wagering nationwide. Since then, eight states have legalized sports betting and at least a dozen more are expected to follow suit in the near future.
In January, the company announced a deal with the National Football League that establishes the Caesars as the league’s first-ever “official casino partner,” although the agreement doesn’t include sports betting.
Partnership deals have also been reached with the league’s Oakland Raiders, who are moving to Las Vegas in 2020.
Caesars and its casinos also have marketing deals with the NFL’s New Orleans Saints and Baltimore Ravens, the NHL’s New Jersey Devils, the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and is partnering with New York’s Oneida Indian Nation to run sportsbooks at the tribe’s three casinos.
“During the last few years, Caesars has spent a lot of time and money to re-energize the Caesars brand,” Macquarie Securities gaming analyst Chad Beynon said. “Given (both) this deal and prior ones, it’s quite clear to us that the Caesars brand will be prominently featured in a significant amount of programming and live events, giving them more connections with sports.”
Currently, the Las Vegas Strip is home to a studio at the South Point Casino developed in partnership with the Vegas Stats & Information Network, which features veteran sportscaster Brent Musburger and programming dedicated to discussing odds, betting lines and related content on satellite radio and streaming services.
Downtown Las Vegas casino operator Derek Stevens has said he plans to bring a VSiN studio to his new Circa Las Vegas resort, which is under construction and scheduled to open in 2020.