“Sportsbook App’s First Week Sees Top 1M Downloads for ESPN Bet”

Bet on: November 26, 2023, 01:42h.

Last updated on: November 26, 2023, 01:42h.

ESPN Bet made its debut in 17 states on November 14. The mobile sportsbook saw a high level of interest from bettors, resulting in over one million app downloads in its first week of operation. According to analysts at JMP Securities, downloads surpassed 1.1 million between November 14 and November 20.

ESPN Bet sportsbook app downloads
ESPN is promoting the ESPN Bet mobile sportsbook during its television programming. ESPN Bet was downloaded 1.1 million times during its first week in existence. (Image: ESPN)

The rollout of ESPN Bet set a new record for sportsbook app downloads in the first week, far surpassing the previous record of 468,000 downloads for FanDuel during last year’s Super Bowl. JMP Securities analysts stated that ESPN Bet accounted for approximately 70% of sports betting app downloads last week, with FanDuel being a distant second at about 10%.

Apple’s App Store confirmed ESPN Bet as the most downloaded app on the iOS platform last week, surpassing leading apps like BigFuture School, Temu: Shop Like a Billionaire, and ChatGPT.

Marketing Blitz

ESPN is heavily promoting the sportsbook app, which is owned and operated by Penn Entertainment. In exchange for Penn directing $1.5 billion to the sports programming network for its brand usage, ESPN is incorporating the sportsbook into its content. Commercials for ESPN Bet have been airing during “SportsCenter” and Monday Night Football’s game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles. The app is also powering the odds on ESPN’s programming and website.

Penn’s Big Bet

The ESPN Bet app is a rebranded sportsbook app for Penn Entertainment, which previously owned and operated Barstool Sports and Barstool Sportsbook. After selling Barstool back to its founder, Dave Portnoy, Penn 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 are where the Barstool Sportsbook app was originally licensed. The report from JMP Securities noted that the 1.1 million downloads also included automatic downloads for Barstool Sportsbook’s previous users.

Industry analysts are closely watching ESPN Bet’s performance to see if it has the potential to compete with sports betting leaders like DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM, which currently hold the largest market shares.

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