International media and entertainment provider Walt Disney & Co (Disney) has announced that it will invest $250 million in daily fantasy sports operator DraftKings. The investment venture will see Disney own approximately a 27% stake in DraftKings.
The Disney investment represents a huge coup for DraftKings, who are expected to partner with Disney owned sports media provider ESPN, the US’ most popular sports TV network
Speculation of a potential Disney investment in DraftKings had arisen in March, when the New York Business Journal reported that Disney had begun investment discussions with DraftKings, eyeing a potential entry into the burgeoning US daily fantasy sports market.
Technology and start-up analysts have speculated that the venture investment by Disney will see Boston based DraftKings valued at $1 billion. At present the operator is locked in an expensive US market share battle with main competitor Fanduel.
Fanduel currently leads the US fantasy sports market with $57 million in reported revenues for 2014 to DraftKings $30 million, Fanduel further states that it had double the active player base of DraftKings.
The US fantasy sports market has garnered much interest from the igaming and sports betting markets. Having announced Amaya Gaming 2104 financial performance Amaya CEO David Baazoov stated that the company was exploring potential entry into the sector