Betting giants including PointsBet were hoping to sign big-name ESPN insiders Adam Schefter and Adrian Wojnarowski.
NFL behemoth Schefter and NBA counterpart Woj have both agreed multi-year extensions with the Worldwide Leader rather than jump ship for the riches on offer from a string of gambling firms.
Per respected sports business reporter Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports, multiple betting companies were ready to bid for the services of Schefter and Wojnarowski – including PointsBet.
Schefter and Woj stay at ESPN
That though is no longer an option after their decisions to stay with ESPN were announced on Thursday. Both will get megabucks to re-up rather than taking their services – and huge followings elsewhere.
Schefter boasts more than 9million followers on Twitter while Wojnarowski has more than 5million – those type of audiences would be mana from heaven for any self-respecting wannabe gambling behemoth.
Re-signing the pair is the latest big-money move from ESPN to maintain its strength at the head of the U.S. media market.
ESPN splashing the cash
Earlier this month it announced massive deals to lure Troy Aikman and Joe Buck from the FOX Sports booth to head up Monday Night Football from 2022 onwards. Aikman reportedly has a five-year pact worth $95million – making him sport’s highest-paid broadcaster ahead of Tony Romo. Buck meanwhile reportedly gets $65million over five years.
The threat to mainstream media outlets from betting companies trying to poach their talent is very real. Having somebody like Schefter for example would give a sportsbook a real edge when it comes to credibility and reporting on news. It would also give instant access to that huge social media following.