Dave Portnoy didn’t hesitate when conservative pundit Ben Shapiro asked him which American sports league has the brightest future. He said it was the NBA. Despite Shapiro trying to change his mind with conservative talking points, Portnoy stuck to his guns.
In fact, Portnoy agreed that there are significant hypocrisies that exist in the league. He just doesn’t think it is truly detrimental to its future.
“I think they’ve got the best commissioner and I think they’re the most internet savvy,” he explained.
The internet prowess cannot be argued. Mediaite’s Brandon Contes points out that the NBA has never placed restrictions on sharing its highlights. Other leagues cannot say the same. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has even suggested that sharing highlights leads to more people tuning in for live games.
Under Silver’s leadership, the NBA has shown some flexibility in its approach rather than panic about television ratings. The upcoming Marvel-themed broadcast ESPN 2 will present on Monday is a good example, as are the gambling-centric broadcasts various RSNs have put on. While some are laser-focused on ratings, Silver is allowing his broadcast partners figure out how to use technology to open the door for new fans to find the league.
Dave Portnoy has been called a lot of negative things, but it is hard to argue that he has a mind for business. He has continued making appearances on conservative media outlets even after Big Cat called him out for betraying the fundamental directive of Barstool, that it is not a political brand. Portnoy would argue that it is a way for him to expose Barstool to audiences that have never thought about or heard of it.
Game recognizes game, as the saying goes. It is not hard to imagine that Dave Portnoy looks at Adam Silver and sees someone else who is always thinking about where the people that have not yet discovered his product are.
Steve Perrault Joins Audacy To Oversee Baseball Podcasts
“Perrault is also contributing more time to WEEI in Boston.”
Audacy has announced the content lead for their new 2400Sports podcast studio. Barstool Sports Section 10 podcast host Steve Perrault is moving over to Audacy to take on the challenge.
Perrault is overseeing all MLB podcasts created at the studio in conjunction with MLB itself. Audacy signed a content deal with the league, and in addition to those shows, Perrault is also co-hosting a new Boston Red Sox podcast housed at the studio following the success of Section 10.
“As we continue expanding our new 2400Sports podcast studio and embark on our new expansive podcast partnership with Major League Baseball, we’re thrilled about adding Steve to our team to launch a new show centered around the Boston Red Sox,” Audacy Chief Digital Officer J.D. Crowley said in a press release. “This podcast, which will be intensely focused on fan engagement and fan-created content, will lend a unique perspective to everything Red Sox, and we believe Steve truly encompasses the dynamic of the show.”
Perrault is also contributing more time to WEEI in Boston. He is now an on-air contributor at the Red Sox’s flagship station while continuing his duties as co-host of the Live BP Baseball Show on the station.
“I’m beyond excited for this new opportunity with Audacy and 2400Sports,” said Perrault. “We have the potential to make this something really special, and I can’t wait to be a leading force with that. Baseball over everything. Let’s go.”
Perrault rose to fame as a co-host of Section 10, a Barstool Sports Red Sox podcast. He has co-hosted the show over the past seven seasons and is also a contributor to Bleacher Report dating back to 2015.
MLB named Audacy their official podcast partner back in June and has begun integrating BetQL content into their platforms ever since. Perrault is the man tasked with bringing their third podcast studio, 2400Sports, to the top.
Dave Portnoy: Floyd Mayweather Can Affect Sportsbooks’ Handle By Himself
”I’ve literally heard that. He’s a monster and can affect handle by himself.”
Following the legalization of sports gambling in the state of Michigan in 2020, all of the big gambling companies rushed to get their product into the state.
Barstool Sports got off to a hot start in the sports gambling market in the state of Michigan, with a 13 percent market share in their first month. However they have fallen behind, and Dave Portnoy believes that it has something to do with Floyd Mayweather Jr.
“I hear whispers, nothing to back it up, in Michigan Floyd Mayweather (Jr.) bets with MGM,” Dave Portnoy said during a Twitter Space session hosted by Roundhill Investments. “I’ve literally heard that. He’s a monster and can affect handle by himself.”
Portnoy was surprised by the success of MGM in the state of Michigan, as he said ”MGM, I never would have gathered would be so strong there. I also didn’t realize how powerful their physical casino was. Right now we’re still in catch-up.”
Another possible reason that Barstool Sportsbook is playing catch up is that its operator Penn National Gaming doesn’t spend money on ads. They instead depend on the pull of Barstool’s Brand.
In comparison, a Roundhill Investor noted that DraftKings spent more on advertisement in the first quarter of ad spending in 2021 than Penn National Gaming spent on their deal to purchase stake in Barstool Sports, which was $136 million dollars.
DraftKings Kicked Tires On Barstool Before Penn National Deal
Portnoy said that ultimately Penn National was the only company to give him a firm offer.
Barstool Sports signed an exclusive 40 year deal with Penn National Gaming back in 2020 for the gaming company to hold a 36 percent stake in Barstool. However, the founder of Barstool Sports Dave Portnoy detailed that this was almost not a reality.
Portnoy detailed in a Twitter space event hosted by Roundhill Investments that he was in talks with ”Draftkings and other gaming companies” prior to ultimately sealing the deal with Penn Gaming.
Dave Portnoy said that ultimately Penn National was the only company to give him a firm offer. The deal was unprecedented for the time, as there were gaming companies that had deals with media outlets, but not to this extent.
The deal was for a whopping $163 million dollars and set the stage for the casino operator Penn to own Barstool outright someday.
In three years, Penn National will increase its Barstool stake to 50 percent for another $62 million payment. The regional casino giant Penn National can eventually own the media property outright for $450 million.
It can definitely be said that the Barstool/Penn deal has sparked plenty of other deals across the industry between media outlets and gaming companies. Draftkings has since reached deals with Vegas Sports Information Network (VSiN) and Meadowlark Media.
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