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Monday, Apr 22, 2024

Disney Bets $250 Million on Sports Gambling Site

Walt Disney Co. is getting into the sports-betting business with a $250 million investment in Boston startup DraftKings Inc., according to media reports on Friday. The betting platform allows players to use real money to bet on fantasy sports teams they assemble for single games instead of full seasons. The investment by the Burbank media company values DraftKings at roughly $900 million. DraftKings, founded in 2012, has skyrocketed in popularity as fans flocked to the site to bet on major sports, including Major League Baseball, the National Football League and the National Basketball Association. DraftKings will advertise heavily on Disney’s ESPN franchise as part of the deal, but that does raise a complication. Comcast Corp., the Philadelphia-based cable giant, has invested into rival FanDuel Inc., which is the biggest single-game fantasy sports platform. It also advertises on ESPN, according to the Wall Street Journal. DraftKings will now have premium positions on ESPN, though FanDuel will still be able to advertise there, the Journal reported. DraftKings had drawn more than $70 million in prior investment rounds. Earlier investors include Raine Group, Redpoint Ventures, GGV Capital and Atlas Venture.

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