News Updates

ESPN’s big bet

August 10, 2023
Almost to the weekend! You never know what you might come across fishing in the Florida Keys. Marlins. Swordfish. Groupers. $1.1 million worth of cocaine.

Meanwhile, in today’s big story we’re looking at ESPN’s tie-up with Penn Entertainment and the impact it could have on the wider gambling market.

But first, wanna make a wager?
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Let’s gamble


It has been more than five years since the Supreme Court overturned the federal ban on sports betting, and professional leagues and media personalities alike have gotten in on the action.

But one key player had been reluctant to get involved: ESPN.

The Worldwide Leader in Sports dipped its toe in the sports-gambling waters — including deals with Caesars Entertainment and DraftKings in 2020 — but stopped short of licensing out its brand to be used by a sportsbook.

That all changed Tuesday when the company announced a $2 billion deal with Penn to launch ESPN Bet, a US-based sports-betting platform.

Insider’s Ashley Rodriguez, Margaret Fleming, Lucia Moses, and James Faris talked to industry insiders to get their biggest takeaways from the deal, including how this could be the first step toward Disney spinning off ESPN.

While industry insiders described the deal as a “win, win, win,” ESPN and its new partner are now entering a whole new ball game. (Wanna bet on how many sports puns we can squeeze in here?)

A gambling rival, FanDuel, offered a window into this new world earlier this year. Shams Charania, one of the top NBA insiders and a FanDuel partner, upended the gambling world prior to the league’s draft in June. Hours before the event, Charania tweeted that Scoot Henderson was “gaining serious momentum” to go to the Charlotte Hornets with the second pick.

Charania’s tweet sent gamblers scrambling and led to Henderson’s odds of going No. 2 to swing from significant underdog to heavy favorite. The Hornets ultimately took Brandon Miller, who was originally favored to go in that spot, leaving some gamblers up in arms.

In simple terms, these folks made a bet based on Sham’s tweet, lost money, and weren’t happy about it.

ESPN is stacked with expert reporters and analysts across sports. These stars are sure to be a part of Penn’s playbook. But the FanDuel episode highlights the risks involved.

It’s one thing to be bummed out when a trade or a game goes against your team or to disagree with the person calling a game. It’s another when you’ve got money riding on it.


3 things in markets

Before the opening bell: US stock futures are up early Thursday ahead of the July CPI report.
Kena Betancur/VIEWpress
  1. Big banks want out of their commercial real-estate loans. JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, and Capital One are among the lenders trying to shed debt exposure as pressure mounts in the sector, per Bloomberg. But some banks are having trouble securing buyers.
  2. Wall Street may not want to go back to the office full time. In a new survey, two-thirds of execs at US financial firms who’re working remotely at least part of the time said they’d quit if they had to head back into the office five days a week.
  3. We’re up to our eyeballs in credit-card debt, and it’s about to get worse. Americans held a record $1.03 trillion in credit-card debt in the second quarter of 2023. The resumption of student-loan payments may only make matters worse.
3 things in tech
Left to right: Anastatia Mayers, Jon Goodwin, and Keisha Schahaff. Virgin Galactic
  1. Virgin Galactic is ready for take-off. Richard Branson’s company is set to launch its first tourist spaceflight today. Passengers include a mother-daughter duo and an 80-year-old Olympian who purchased his ticket 18 years ago. For updates on the flight, follow along with our live blog.
  2. Everything you need to know ahead of Triller going public. The video-sharing app filed paperwork to go public that detailed its business. It included the people it relies on to pitch its business and key metrics. We’ve got the key takeaways.
  3. Tech workers are salty about UPS drivers’ great pay package. Some tech workers voiced anger and disbelief after hearing that the average full-time UPS driver could get $170,000 in pay and benefits in five years’ time under a new contract.
3 things in business
Angelina Lu
  1. A $175,000 salary to do nothing. New hires at some top consulting firms are struggling to find enough work to do, per The Wall Street Journal. But the free ride may not last forever. A former business analyst at McKinsey said the workload was mentally straining and she started losing her humility and patience.
  2. TV adtech company Cadent just got that PE money. Novacap acquired Cadent in a deal valued at close to $600 million, according to a person familiar with the matter. Now Cadent plans to go on an acquisition spree as it looks to build out a full TV advertising stack.
  3. CMOs to watch. We mapped out first-time and newly named CMOs at top brands like General Motors (Norm de Greve), Target (Lisa Roath), and TikTok (Kate Jhaveri). Check out all 25 executives here.

Maui, Mega Millions, & more

  • Exclusive: An FBI veteran said his superiors suppressed investigations of Trump. The whistleblower told Insider he was ordered to stop investigating Rudy Giuliani and the rest of the Trump White House in August 2022. The decision was made after months of what he says were persistent efforts to frustrate his work.
  • Some Maui residents jumped in the ocean to escape wildfires. The people were “transported by the Coast Guard to safe areas,” officials said. Meanwhile, 911 service, cell service, and some landlines were down on parts of the island. Richard Bissen, the mayor of Maui County, said Wednesday that at least six people were killed as a result of the wildfires. The death toll has since been reported as high as 36.
  • How to get a job at OpenAI. Jan Leike, the head of superalignment at OpenAI, is hiring, and on a recent podcast he mapped out what he’s looking for in candidates.
  • A beef is brewing between China and Russia. China’s patience with the Kremlin seems to be wearing thin after Moscow rejected a 12-point peace plan backed by China, per a report.
  • The GOP’s attempt to stymie abortion rights in Ohio backfired. Republicans failed to raise the threshold for constitutional amendments in what was viewed as a bid to get ahead of an abortion-rights vote later this year.
  • How a $1.58 billion Mega Millions jackpot could turn into less than $500 million. The winner of the third-largest  jackpot in US history could end up with less than a third of the money after taxes.
  • Zoom says it won’t use your calls to train AI … “without your consent.” The video-communications company adjusted its terms of service after facing backlash over a report in which it was suggested Zoom could use customers’ meetings to train its AI.

Earnings, inflation, and Keanu Reeves


Women in hip-hop

Lauryn Hill. Getty/Mariano Regidor
Take a trip down memory lane and check out what some of hip-hop’s pioneering female emcees are up to today.
The Insider Today team: Dan DeFrancesco, senior editor and anchor, in New York City. Diamond Naga Siu, senior reporter, in San Diego. Hallam Bullock, editor, in London. Lisa Ryan, executive editor, in New York City.
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