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Erika Nardini, CEO of Barstool Sports; Simon Denyer, CEO of DAZN; Alex Mather, CEO of The Athletic. Photos by Bloomberg and The Information.
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Why 2020 Could Bring a Merger Wave to Online Sports

Photo: Erika Nardini, CEO of Barstool Sports; Simon Denyer, CEO of DAZN; Alex Mather, CEO of The Athletic. Photos by Bloomberg and The Information.

This year is shaping up to be a big year for digital sports media companies such as The Athletic, Barstool Sports and Action Network. New business opportunities are emerging from the growth of legalized sports betting. The Athletic is expanding into the U.K. Several others, including Overtime and FuboTV, are raising money. Last month, daily fantasy sports site DraftKings announced plans to go public. 

Meanwhile, the big sports media channels like ESPN have lost some of their dominance as the online upstarts grab more attention, particularly among younger audiences. All that adds up to the potential for some of the newer firms to get acquired. There are already signs that Barstool Sports’ owner, The Chernin Group, is interested in selling the firm, say people familiar with the situation. Both FuboTV and Overtime could be candidates for sale as well, we hear.

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