Dan Le Batard has a new home for the pirate ship. According to The Wall Street Journal, “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” is moving to DraftKings after the sports gaming company agreed to a multiplatform partnership with Meadowlark Media.
Le Batard and former ESPN president John Skipper’s content company has made a flurry of moves over the past few weeks. The deal is for three years and a reported $50 million, although the Miami Herald has reported the figure to be $40 million. This is Meadowlark’s first major licensing deal since its inception earlier this year.
“The thing that I chose was freedom,” Le Batard told the Miami Herald. “Every time I’ve negotiated anywhere was for freedom, not money. This allows Meadowlark to be profitable from the start and have total freedom to do what we want.”
DraftKings will begin distributing the show on radio, television, podcasts, and social media in June or early July. The show is currently being released in podcast form but will be broadcast live on Twitch, YouTube, and Draftkings own channel that they are creating. It was important to Le Batard that the show remained accessible for all fans.
“I’m overjoyed to team with a fearless creative partner who sees the future and wants to help us change it. DraftKings believed in us,” Le Batard said to the Miami Herald. “Our principles and our mission enough to give us a freedom no scared corporation or traditional media partner ever could or ever would. To our fans, know that DraftKings is the reason you aren’t behind a paywall.”
In a press release distributed by DraftKings, Meadowlark Media CEO John Skipper added, “We’re thrilled to find a collaborator in DraftKings that shares our vision to grow Dan Le Batard’s already wildly popular network of shows in non-conventional ways. With the freedom to widely distribute these programs, we’ll be able to reach the largest possible audience and provide incredible content to DraftKings.”
SiriusXM, iHeart Radio, and Peacock were all bidding on the project, but Le Batard ultimately went with the Boston-based sports gaming company. On top of the flagship show, DraftKings can now develop different content with Meadowlark, like documentaries and original programming. DraftKings “got” the show, and they are ready to captain the ship into uncharted waters.
Russ Heltman is a daily news writer for BSM. He is the morning host and producer for 89.3 WMKV in Cincinnati, OH. He also works in gameday communications for FC Cincinnati and additionally contributes to the AllBengals blog for Sports Illustrated. Russ can be found on Twitter @RussHeltman11 or you can reach him by email at [email protected].
Mad Dog: Gus Johnson ‘Bothered The Hell Out of Me’ Saturday
“For crying out loud, Michigan/Ohio State isn’t even better than North Carolina/Duke, who play twice a year. So let’s be careful with the hype machine.”
FOX Sports college football voice Gus Johnson has made no bones about his affinity for Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. However, Chris “Mad Dog” Russo has heard enough.
During his Mad Dog Unleashed program on SiriusXM, Russo shared that not only was Johnson obnoxious for the constant use of a nickname he bestowed up Harrison, but he was also misguided for calling Ohio State/Michigan the greatest rivalry in sports.
“Gus Johnson — the hype machine that he is — please, when you broadcast a ballgame, I don’t need to hear about Maserati Marv, number one. And number two, that’s not the greatest rivalry in sports history. Have you heard of the Yankees and the Red Sox? Giants and the Dodgers? How about Bears/Packers? Have you heard about that?
“For crying out loud, Michigan/Ohio State isn’t even better than North Carolina/Duke, who play twice a year. So let’s be careful with the hype machine. That bothered the hell out of me.”
When a caller pushed back on Russo’s opinion on the Michigan/Ohio State rivalry, he continued by saying “That rivalry’s not Yankees/Red Sox. To compare college football to the Yankees and the Red Sox is ludicrous.”
Nashville Predators Radio Voice Pete Weber Calling 2,000th Game Tuesday
“I always wanted to be there for the birth of a team. I feel like I’ve been a pretty fair midwife here.”
Nashville Predators radio voice Pete Weber is set to hit a career milestone Tuesday, as he’ll call his 2,000th game for the NHL franchise.
Weber told The Tennessean that he has relished the opportunity to be the voice of a team since its inception. He claimed he applied for and was a finalist for the radio play-by-play job when the Carolina Panthers were conceived, before ultimately landing with the Predators.
“I always wanted to be there for the birth of a team,” said Weber. “I feel like I’ve been a pretty fair midwife here.”
Despite missing time late last season due to a rare brain condition, Weber said he has no plans of retiring anytime soon.
“I have not thought about it, other than when I thought about how (former Philadelphia Phillies announcer) Harry Kalas was carried dead out of the broadcast booth in Washington,” Pete Weber said. “I thought, ‘Well, that’s an interesting way to go. I don’t necessarily know that I want to do it like that. But it could happen. I’m not going to say no.”
Weber’s 2,000th game will come as the Nashville Predators play host to the Pittsburgh Penguins. 102.5 The Game is the flagship home of the Predators Radio Network.
iHeartMedia Ending WEEI Simulcast in Cape Cod
A job opening for a sports talk co-host/producer/programming assistant that says its salary will “be funded by the savings that the market is acquiring from the expiring Audacy/WEEI & Red Sox contracts”.
iHeartMedia is preparing to drop its simulcast of WEEI on its 96.3 WEII-FM signal in Hyannis/Cape Cod.
According to a report from Radio Insight, iHeartMedia has posted a job opening for a sports talk co-host/producer/programming assistant that says its salary will “be funded by the savings that the market is acquiring from the expiring Audacy/WEEI & Red Sox contracts”.
It goes on to state that the contract between the company and Audacy was $300,000 annually and it paid the Red Sox $65,000 annually.
The job posting alleges 96.3 FM will continue to carry sports programming with a local show.
WEEI is currently simulcast on stations in Springfield and Worcester, MA; Providence; Portland, Maine; and on stations in New Hampshire and Vermont, as well. Earlier this year, the station’s offices in Warwick, Rhode Island closed as part of a cost-cutting measure.
WEII-FM is licensed to Dennis, MA and features a 25,000-watt Class B signal.