Not more than five months ago, ESPN Radio’s Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz reluctantly gave up an hour of daily terrestrial airtime because The Worldwide Leader wanted to capitalize on the program’s digital following. Now Le Batard is reluctantly seeing his TV simulcast move from ESPN News to behind a paywall.
Recently, it was announced The Le Batard Show’s audience would have to go to ESPN+ to watch the daily program. That begins Monday, Nov. 9. And according to Miami Herald columnist Greg Cote, Le Batard made it clear to listeners on Tuesday, the move to ESPN+ was not his decision, nor was he consulted on it. In addition to being a South Florida columnist, Cote is a regular guest on The Le Batard Show, with his son Chris Cote serving as one of its producer.
The admission from Le Batard highlights what continues to be a seemingly rocky relationship between his radio show and ESPN. Noting in July that he felt like he was being demoted when ESPN pulled a terrestrial hour of The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz, five months later they made it more difficult for fans to consume the show visually.
The Le Batard Show with Stugotz already has a huge digital following, so it makes sense for ESPN to continue to capitalize on that. But it’s also not wrong of Le Batard to want to at least be included in discussing those decisions.