ESPN Bet Launches in 17 States, Hits 1.1M Downloads in First Week
The ESPN Bet mobile sportsbook debuted in 17 states on November 14, and it garnered significant interest from bettors, with over one million downloads in its first week. According to gaming analysts at JMP Securities, the app was downloaded more than 1.1 million times between November 14 and November 20.
This successful rollout set a new record for most sportsbook application downloads in a product’s first week, surpassing the previous best mark of 468,000 downloads for FanDuel during last year’s Super Bowl. ESPN Bet accounted for about 70% of sports betting app downloads, with FanDuel coming in a distant second at roughly 10%.
The app was also the most downloaded app on Apple’s App Store last week, outperforming other leading apps. ESPN has heavily promoted the sportsbook app, which is operated by Penn Entertainment, during its television programming and social media messaging. The network is incorporating the sportsbook into its content as part of a partnership that involves Penn Entertainment directing $1.5 billion to ESPN for brand usage.
ESPN Bet commercials have been running during “SportsCenter” and “Monday Night Football,” and the app is now powering the odds on ESPN’s programming and website, replacing Caesars Sportsbook as the previous odds provider.
The ESPN Bet app is the rebranded sportsbook app for Penn Entertainment, following the company’s decision to fold on its Barstool Sports and Barstool Sportsbook ownership due to ongoing regulatory concerns regarding Barstool founder Dave Portnoy. Penn sold Barstool back to Portnoy for just $1 and then agreed to pay ESPN $1.5 billion for the rights to use the sports media brand in its sports betting operations.
The 17 states where ESPN Bet debuted last week were where the Barstool Sportsbook app was licensed, including Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and others. The report from JMP Securities noted that the 1.1 million downloads included automatic downloads for Barstool Sportsbook’s previous users.
As ESPN Bet continues to gain traction, gaming analysts are eager to see how it will compete with the current sports betting leaders, including DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM. With its successful launch and early popularity, ESPN Bet is showing promise in the competitive sports betting market.