The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek has been quite a topic of conversation recently. There have been petitions to fire him, and many Disney fans want him gone. We recently found out that he would not be at D23, and you can read more about that here.
Now he is hoping to bring Disney into the world of betting through ESPN. He thinks that this could bring a younger audience and create new revenue. On the most recent fourth quarter earnings call, he said, “seriously consider getting into gambling in a bigger way, and ESPN is a perfect platform for this.”
He had many thoughts about this in the company and said, “moving towards a great presence in online sports betting, and given our reach and scale, we have the potential to partner with third-parties in this space in a very meaningful way.”
“It’s driven by the consumer,” he said, “particularly the younger consumer that will replenish the sports fans over time and their desire to have gambling as part of their sports experience.”
He did not explain the plan to enter that market, but he said he is not worried about it ruining Disney’s name or brand. “Gambling does not have the cachet now that it had, say 10 or 20 years ago,”
“And we have some concerns as a company about our ability to get in it without having a brand withdrawal. But I can tell you that given all the research that we’ve done recently, that that is not the case. It actually strengthens the brand of ESPN when you have a betting component, and it has no impact on the Disney brand. Therefore, to go after that demographic opportunity plus the, of course, not insignificant revenue implications, that is something that we’re keenly interested in and are pursuing aggressively.”
Not sure if this will increase his popularity or make fans even more upset. What are your thoughts about this?
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