ESPN has taken an early out of its exclusive advertising deal with fantasy sports company DraftKings.
Disney-owned ESPN did not disclose details of the deal, announced in June, but said the contract included branding and promotional opportunities across ESPN and DraftKings platforms, including integration into digital properties and television programming.
ESPN could also sell ad space on rival FanDuel — and did so, reports Yahoo Sports.
Both DraftKings and FanDuel were aggressively marketed on television and radio; they sent more than $200M on TV ads this fall, according to the account.
But that brought attention from federal and state lawmakers and now several state attorney generals have halted activity on the sites in several states while their legality is probed, we’ve reported.
During all of this, ESPN had kept airing ads for DraftKings and its air personalities promoted the site on social media. However now, ESPN is able to sell ads to other fantasy companies and is in talks to do so, reports Yahoo.
DraftKings reportedly had to commit to a $200M year ad spend on ESPN; Now that it’s devoting large sums of its revenue towards paying legal fees, it likely sought to get out from the ESPN deal, according to the account, which said the companies declined comment.