OU's DaShaun White (23) and Delarrin Turner-Yell (32) bring down Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger (11) during the Sooners' 53-45 win in Dallas on Oct. 10, 2020.

ehlinger

Big 12 sends ESPN cease-and-desist letter over alleged meddling

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby alleged in a cease-and-desist letter that ESPN reached out to at least one of the conference’s member institutions to try to convince it to leave the league.

The letter was leaked to media outlets Wednesday in the wake of Texas and Oklahoma formally applying for membership in the Southeastern Conference a day earlier.

Bowlsby alleged that the sports media giant “has taken certain actions that are intended to not only harm the Big 12 Conference but to result in financial benefits for ESPN.”

Bowlsby wrote, in part, to Burke Magnus, ESPN’s president of programming and original content, “The Big 12 Conference demands that ESPN immediately cease and desist all actions that may harm the Conference and its members and that it not communicate with the Big 12 Conference’s existing Members or any other NCAA Conference regarding the Big 12 Conference’s Members, possible conference realignment, or potential financial incentives or outcomes related to possible conference realignment.”

ESPN responded to the allegations in a brief statement: “The claims in the letter have no merit.”

Only eight universities would remain in the Big 12 if and when Texas and Oklahoma are granted membership in the SEC. The Big 12 may not have long-term standing as a power conference as a result, and ESPN and other media partners in turn may be incentivized to restructure their future partnerships with the Big 12 and other conferences.

Bowlsby told CBS Sports that ESPN actively tried to “pursue” three to five members of the Big 12 to join the American Athletic Conference, long seen as the sixth-best college football conference behind the power five leagues. The AAC had no comment on the allegation, the Dallas Morning News reported Wednesday.

–Field Level Media

DraftKings CEO Robins Reveals Sports Betting Already Crushing For Company Overall

The numbers are beginning to show that DraftKings’ metamorphosis from a daily fantasy sports operator to sportsbook-first company is moving at Ludicrous Speed. The DFS aspect of the company isn’t going anywhere, but the revenue and obviously growth potential in the U.S. is in legal sports betting.

At the ICE Sports Betting USA conference in Manhattan on Wednesday, DraftKings Co-Founder and CEO Jason Robins told Darren Rovell (who himself switched jerseys from ESPN to Action Network mid-conference) that 20 percent of the company’s business is currently being generated through sports betting. In New Jersey, where the DraftKings Sportsbook was first to market in the state in August, Robins said sports betting represents 80 percent of the company’s revenue.

In other words, the sports betting revenue being generated in just one state*, roughly four months post-launch, is currently accounting for 20 percent of the company’s overall revenue coming nationwide via daily fantasy sports contests.

DraftKings Sportsbook Already Driving 20 Percent of Company’s Revenue; Full Speed Ahead For Familiar Players As Expansion Continues

 

 

Read more DraftKings CEO Robins Reveals Sports Betting Already Crushing For Company Overall on SportsHandle.