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Pat McAfee Mocks ESPN BET After Disastrous Earnings Report

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It’s not unusual for controversial things to be said on the Pat McAfee Show, and it’s not uncommon for those controversial things to annoy ESPN executives. However, this time, the controversy has nothing to do with COVID-19 or taking shots at celebrities.

This time, it hits home.

During Thursday’s show, an ESPN BET ad popped up while McAfee was talking. The host apparently couldn’t resist the opportunity and sarcastically said, “Things are going great here,” as he pointed to the logo. One of his co-hosts then shouted, “NOT!”

McAfee then conceded, “Not at all.”

“ESPN Bet’s got a lot of room to grow,” McAfee said as if starting a pep talk. “Hey, good luck, hey, let’s go, ESPN Bet! You get knocked down, you come back!”

 

Perhaps sensing that ESPN executives may not find the segment as funny as he and his co-host. McAfee took on a more serious tone.

“We’re pulling for it. ‘Cause we are on ESPN, and obviously we’re a part of ESPN, so we would like ESPN stuff to succeed,” McAfee said. “They’re gonna be fine. They’re gonna figure it out.”

The mocking from McAfee comes after Penn Entertainment, the company that actually owns ESPN BET, released its first-quarter earnings report—a report which showed ESPN BET $30 million below its projected revenues.

The ESPN Bet logo on a laptop arranged in New York, US, on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024. Penn Entertainment Inc.'s interactive gambling unit lost $333.8...

The ESPN Bet logo on a laptop was arranged in New York, US, on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024. Penn Entertainment Inc.’s interactive gambling unit lost $333.8 million in the fourth quarter because of costs associated with the Nov. 14 launch of its new ESPN Bet sports-wagering product, sending the shares lower. (Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“ESPN BET continued to attract new users this quarter while maintaining a disciplined approach to promotions and marketing expenses; however, our financial results were impacted by lower-than-expected hold and spend per user,” Penn CEO and President Jay Snowden said in a statement. “While we are pleased with the early ESPN BET adoption and engagement results, our focus heading into this football season will be on enhancing our product offerings, including a refreshed home screen and expanded parlay offerings.”

Optimism about future potential aside, Penn’s stock took a 15% hit after the report came out. Penn made headlines last year when they left Barstool Sports to partner with ESPN in a $2 billion move meant to break up the duopoly in sports betting between DraftKings and FanDuel.

So far, not so good.



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