Caesars, ESPN Reach Media Partnership Deal

On May 14, 2019, ESPN announced a media content partnership with Caesars Entertainment. Similar to Caesars’ deal with Bleacher Report, its LINQ Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas will host a brand new ESPN-branded studio, where they will produce sports-betting-themed content and contribute to ESPN’s Daily Wager show.

In addition to the studio, Caesars will serve as ESPN’s official odds data supplier throughout its platform. Per ESPN’s Vice President of Business Development Mike Morrison, “[w]e are poised to expand our coverage in a big way …

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Drawing the Line: Disney CEO Bob Iger Distances ESPN from Sports Betting

Earlier this month, Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger dismissed any notion that ESPN has plans to fully engulf itself in the sports betting arena.

On Disney’s first-quarter earnings call, Iger was asked whether sports gambling is something that can co-exist within the typically family-friendly Disney Brand.  In a somewhat unexpected response, Iger explained that “I don’t see The Walt Disney Company, certainly in the near term, getting involved in the business of gambling, in effect, by facilitating gambling in any way.  I do think …

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ESPN and Chick-Fil-A Move to Dismiss Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

On May 22, 2018, ESPN and Chick-Fil-A filed a brief in support of their motion to dismiss Platinum Jack Entertainment, LLC’s copyright infringement lawsuit. As we have previously covered, Platinum Jack filed a lawsuit against ESPN and Chick-Fil-A because of their allegedly impermissible use of the song entitled “Best I Had” by Drayter, from whom Platinum Jack purchased “all rights and publishing.” Now ESPN and Chick-Fil-A have moved to dismiss the lawsuit, claiming that “the complaint is a four-page pleading riddled with errors, conclusory …

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Chick-Fil-A and ESPN Under Attack for Copyright Infringement

On April 10, 2018, music producer, Platinum Jack Entertainment, LLC filed suit in a Texas court against Chick-Fil-A and ESPN for their allegedly impermissible use of a band’s original music in recent commercials. The commercials feature sportscasters Joey Galloway and Adnan Virk of ESPN making chicken-related football commentary, with the tune of the song in dispute playing in the background. Though the song lacks the vocals that would make its appropriation clear, Platinum Jack contends that it is identifiable sans lyrics and is currently asserting …

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Former ESPN Announcer’s Wrongful Termination Suit Removed Back to State Court

A California Federal Judge ruled that former ESPN announcer Doug Adler’s wrongful termination suit, in which he claimed two executives and the network misinterpreted his “guerilla” comment about Venus Williams’ game play, will head back to state court, as ESPN failed to prove the executives’ Connecticut residence for invoking diversity jurisdiction.

The dispute arose when Adler used the word “gorilla” while Venus Williams was on the court during the 2017 Australian Open. Adler was forced to make an on-air apology the following day, before …

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Going for the Sack: ESPN Argues that Jason Pierre-Paul Authorized Release of Medical Records

On September 12, 2016, ESPN and Adam Schefter filed an answer in Jason Pierre-Paul’s invasion of privacy lawsuit, claiming that the suit should be dismissed due to the fact that Pierre-Paul agreed to let his medical records go public. This is not the first time ESPN and Schefter have attempted to dismiss this case — back in May, ESPN claimed that dismissal was warranted under First Amendment protections for matters of public interest.

In the answer, ESPN and Schefter raise several affirmative defenses, two of …

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College Players Not Entitled to Broadcasting Compensation

Former college players claiming they should be reimbursed for the broadcasting of games they played in recently endured another defeat. On August 17, 2016, the Sixth Circuit dismissed their claims after the district court had done the same in 2015. The suit was filed against ESPN, CBS, NBC, and other broadcasting networks and several conferences in 2014. Javon Marshall, former Vanderbilt football player, and the proposed class of former student athletes are claiming violations of the Sherman Act, Lanham Act, and Tennessee Law.

The …

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ESPN Continues to Defend Adam Schefter Over Medical Records Tweet

On May 16, 2016, ESPN continued their legal support of star reporter Adam Schefter’s reporting by filing another motion asking a Florida federal judge to dismiss the case due to First Amendment protections for a matter of public interest. This case arose after Schefter tweeted New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul’s medical records to support his reports that Pierre-Paul had successfully undergone surgery to amputate his right index finger stemming from a Summer 2015 fireworks accident. Pierre-Paul filed a civil suit claiming a violation …

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ESPN Claims Tweet was Lawful in Jason Pierre-Paul’s Civil Suit

On Thursday April 7, 2016, ESPN told a Florida federal court that it cannot be held liable for a tweet sent out by reporter Adam Schefter in 2015, where images of New York Giants defensive star Jason Pierre-Paul’s medical records were uploaded to the internet. The case stems from an incident in the summer of 2015, where Schefter, one of ESPN’s most popular NFL insiders, was covering the story of Pierre-Paul’s July 4th fireworks accident, in which he blew off part of his right …

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NFL’s Influence on Concussion Research Cannot be Overlooked, OTL Reports

In a recent Outside The Lines article posted earlier this month on, it was reported that the National Football League — under fire these days for its role in downplaying concussions and head trauma in professional sports — may be exerting inappropriate influence on scientific studies on concussions. The OTL article posits that this is not a new development either. According to the piece, the NFL has had its hand in funding scientific studies regarding concussions and their long-term effects since the mid-1990s. However, …

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