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.
Doug Gottlieb: ‘CNN Made My Simone Biles Comments Race Based’
Fox’s Doug Gottlieb objected on Twitter to a CNN graphic that included him under the label of “white male talking heads.”
Fox Sports Radio’s Doug Gottlieb is never afraid to be controversial on his radio program. Though, it was a controversial banner on CNN that gained Gottlieb’s attention this time around. After giving commentary on Simone Biles, CNN ran a clip of Gottlieb with the graphic, “white male talking heads question courage of Simone Biles.”
Gottlieb tweeted at New Day, CNN’s morning news program, “it isn’t hard to reach out, but the labeling of my race makes my commentary race based?” So far the program has not responded via Twitter to the former basketball player.
Biles withdrawing from the Olympics citing mental health has dug up a flood of opinions from all across the spectrum. Some have praised her for being a great teammate, while others have criticized her for the same actions making her a poor teammate. Some have called her strong, while others have said weak.
By comparison to conservative internet celebrity Charlie Kirk, who also appeared in CNN’s montage, Gottlieb’s criticism was mild. He asked why fans and the media are willing to give Biles a pass for citing mental health as the reason she could not perform when the same treatment would never be given to someone like LeBron James.
Even if the question was asked insincerely, Kirk, whose commentary was put side by side with Gottlieb, called the gymnastics GOAT a “sociopath”. Those seem like two very different levels of criticism.
The emotions on either side of the coin do not figure to subside with inflammatory graphics with unknowing B-roll playing behind. Biles’ withdrawals are, however, a potentially much-need conversation starter about just how media and fans alike discuss athletes’ mental capacities moving forward.
John Skipper: College Football Realignment Is Big Business For ESPN
John Skipper joined The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz to discuss Texas and Oklahoma joining the SEC and what it means financially.
When Meadowlark’s John Skipper speaks on the matters of sports business, he always draws an engaged crowd. The former president of ESPN — whose leathery Carolina drawl sounds like if cotillion were a person — joined The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz on Tuesday to discuss the business side of the recent SEC expansion.
“Ultimately, it’s easily $20 million, $30 million, 40 million, the gap will keep getting bigger,” he said. “The SEC Network makes a lot of money because of the new ESPN deal for the CBS game.”
Skipper, who oversaw the creation of the SEC Network, was referencing ESPN’s acquisition of CBS’s long-held SEC game of the week in the 3:30 afternoon time slot. He went on to say the rights to that one game each week alone is roughly equal to the entire TV rights packages for conferences like the Big Ten or PAC-12.
The blockbuster news of Texas and Oklahoma looking to leave the Big 12 for the SEC broke during SEC Media Days earlier this month. Seemingly each passing day has involved an update to the story be it a Big 12 conference call minus the two teams, a joint announcement of their departure from the conference, and subsequently their application to the SEC. It now appears to be all but a formality as college football’s strongest conference just added even more bulk.
Skipper was at the helm of ESPN for the last major round of conference realignment from 2010 to 2015. Le Batard asked his boss if he felt at all responsible for what happened then or what’s happening now.
“I’d like to take the fifth,” Skipper responded.
Sports Acquisitions Lead To Growth For Spotify
Spotify continues to grow and evolve, with its subscriber base climbing following its further commitment to sports content.
Spotify was once an ambitious disrupt in the audio streaming world, and has now found itself as one of the titans in podcasting. After acquisitions like Joe Rogan and Dax Shepard, Spotify has also fully committed itself to aggressively acquiring sports content. That push has paid off in both subscriber growth and ad revenue, per Front Office Sports.
FOS reported Spotify’s revenue, even in the second quarter, jumped 17 percent from last year to $2.75 billion. Those numbers were met with a 20 percent rise in monthly subscribers to 165 million and 24 percent rise in active ad-supported users to 210 million. The ad revenue saw the largest growth, rising 110 percent from Q2 in 2020 to $324.4 million.
Spotify has added the likes of The Ringer, League of Legends, Locker Room, Jemele Hill, and others to its lineup. Money has not been an issue for the streaming giant as its acquisition costs continually catch the entire media world by storm with every move. It remains to be seen who will be next, but one thing is for sure, they aren’t done.
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