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Dave Portnoy Defends Crypto & Mayweather vs. Paul

Portnoy appeared on “Varney & Co.” to discuss Crypto investing.

Russ Heltman

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Dave Portnoy
Courtesy: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

Dave Portnoy is sticking to his guns on cryptocurrency, despite comments from former President Donald Trump saying Bitcoin “seems like a scam.” The Barstool Sports founder appeared on FOX Business Channel’s Varney & Co. to discuss his crypto holdings and react to the Mayweather-Paul fight this past weekend.

Portnoy has invested heavily into Bitcoin and Safemoon, which he says is a trial of tribulations so far.

“I’m down 50% Stuart, not a little bit, I’m down 50% [on Safemoon],” Portnoy said on the show. “No, I’m never going to sell. This man has diamond hands, and I said I was doing it for the long term. So it’s been a little rocky road, but that’s the nature of the beast when you get mauled with these types of coins. Safemoon will eventually land on the moon, and I’ll be there ready to throw a yacht party when it does.”

Portnoy was in attendance for the Mayweather-Paul exhibition this weekend, and he was impressed with how much easy money the two fighters cleared from the event.

“It was an exhibition, it was never a professional boxing match,” Portnoy said. “But to people who are complaining, listen, if I can make $10 million, $20 million, $30 million for an exhibition and walk out without really getting hit or hurt sign me up. Floyd [Mayweather] said it right, it was legalized bank robbery.”

Portnoy closed out the interview with a passionate pitch for what else? PENN stock. The Barstool founder has a large holding in Penn National Gaming, he’s confident things are trending up heading into football season.

“Football is king. We are going to be back to full streets, full speed, full stadiums. I think once the NFL gets going, college football gets going, you’re not having cancellations. I think you’re going to see a huge increase in all the gambling companies, including ours.”

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Booger McFarland: I’m A Rare Person in This Industry Because I Don’t Take Criticism Personally

“I think I’m one of the rare people that can give an opinion, that can take an opinion, that can give criticism and take it and it’s not personal.”

Ricky Keeler

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A photo of Booger McFarland
(Photo: Getty Images)

This year is a milestone year for Booger McFarland as it is his 10th year working at ESPN. It is a milestone for the former Super Bowl winning defensive lineman as he has now been in the sports media industry longer than he was as an actual player (9 years with the Buccaneers and Colts).

McFarland was a guest on the SI Media with Jimmy Traina podcast this week and he mentioned how he always enjoys talking to people about sports and he never takes any critique of the analysis he gives seriously because sports is supposed to be fun.

“I enjoy talking to people. I’m a people person. I always knew that this was a job I could do as far as being in a studio amongst a group of people,” Booger McFarland said. “And I enjoy conversing with people about sports because I think I’m one of the rare people that can give an opinion, that can take an opinion, that can give criticism and take it and it’s not personal.

“Sometimes as analysts, we allow things to become personal to us and it starts affecting not only you, but your relationships. I’ve never taken sports that seriously. This is entertainment. I’m trying to entertain people and have some fun. This is not life or death. I think that attitude has allowed me even when something has been given and/or taken away as far as a role or job, I’m continuing to move forward. I enjoy what I do.”

When McFarland is not analyzing college football, he is doing NFL Primetine with Chris Berman every week on ESPN+, which is something that he never thought he would do in his career. Yes, McFarland enjoys the entertainment Berman brings to the broadcast, but he is also impressed by the knowledge Berman has and the preparation that goes into the legendary highlight show.

“It is something I never thought in my wildest dreams thought I would be doing. The very first time I did it, I caught myself staring at him a couple of times as he was doing it. He’s got all of these different sayings and every time he did one, I’m naturally laughing. I’m just in awe at not only just how entertaining he makes it, but his knowledge of the game. We talk on a weekly basis in-depth.”

“He talks to a lot of coaches. He does research. People may look at that show and say well, what is he doing that for? It’s because he wants to be as knowledgeable about the product and about how he can entertain the fan. As he told me, my job is to serve the fan and entertain the fan with the show. He has welcomed me in with his arms wide open. It’s been fun, it’s nothing I enjoy doing more than Primetime with him. When that red light goes on at 7:30 on ESPN+, I know it’s going to be fun.”

Of course, many remember Booger McFarland for his time in the booth and in the “Boogermobile” on Monday Night Football. He told Traina when the idea was first pitched to him, the network was looking for him to have a role similar to Todd McShay (at the time) or Tom Luginbill as a field analyst roaming the sidelines.

“We started going through a lot of different scenarios and I flew out to Los Angeles and we started building this thing. I had no idea what to expect with that first iteration of it. Once I got up there and we started to understand what they were trying to do, I thought we could have done it without the crane/Boogermobile because what they wanted was a field analyst similar to what they had in college football with Todd McShay and Tom Luginbill.”

“The good thing with those guys is they get to roam around, they can go in the end zone, they can walk up and down the sideline, they can be close to the action. When you were on the Booger Mobile, we could only go so far on the sideline, so we were limited. If I was on foot, I could have gone a lot of different places.”

While the idea did not work to its full potential, Booger McFarland gives ESPN a lot of credit for trying something new.

“I give ESPN a lot of credit for trying to be innovative and trying to do a lot of different things. I think even the staunchest supporter of it would probably say if I had a do-over, I would probably do something different, but I give them a lot of credit for trying.”

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Final SEC on CBS Broadcast Scores Highest-Rated Conference Championship Game

The broadcast of Alabama/Georgia marked the final game in a partnership that began in 1996.

Jordan Bondurant

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SEC on CBS logo

The final SEC broadcast on CBS turned out to be the most-watched game of the weekend.

The SEC Championship broadcast on CBS averaged 17.519 million viewers, making it the most-watched conference championship game on any network in five years.

Viewership of the telecast peaked at 22.35 million. The game was the second-most-watched college football game of the season so far behind Ohio State/Michigan.

The game also was the most-streamed college football game ever on Paramount+ across households, minutes, and average minute audience.

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NBCUniversal CEO Mark Lazarus: People Have Said Sports TV Rights Bubble Would Burst for 30 Years

“For 30 years everyone said, the sports [rights] bubble is gonna burst, it’s gonna burst. You’re starting to see rights fees growth moderate.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Mark Lazarus
Courtesy: NBCUniversal, Inc.

Value is power when it comes to sports rights, and NBCUniversal CEO Mark Lazarus understands that. It’s why newly completed media rights deals across sports, and college sports in particular, command billions of dollars from networks each year now.

Next TV reported that Lazarus, in a conversational interview with TODAY host Hoda Kotb on Tuesday, said while the price for rights to properties like the NFL, NASCAR, Notre Dame, and the Big Ten are astronomical, the cost is starting to level off in some ways.

“For 30 years everyone said, the sports [rights] bubble is gonna burst, it’s gonna burst,” Lazarus told Kotb. “You’re starting to see rights fees growth moderate.”

Lazarus mentioned that there are no individual content budgets for sports, news, and entertainment at NBCUniversal. Those three divisions have a single budget executives work from. Executives are responsible for finding content audiences will consume and a platform to house it on.

“What’s the best content and where can it be successful in our portfolio?” Mark Lazarus said. “It’s a combination of art and commerce.”

“We reach massive amounts of people, we have reach and scale,” he later added, pointing out the company reaches 65-70 million homes on pay TV and another 30 million on Peacock.

“That’s great for our distribution partners and that’s great for our advertising partners and it’s really important for our audience.”

Mark touted Sunday Night Football, which is a ratings juggernaut and averages 22 million viewers. The NFL streaming on Peacock has also seen strong numbers this season, with this past week’s Chiefs/Packers game having an average minute audience of 1.86 million viewers. That’s between Peacock, NBC Sports Digital, and NFL Digital platforms. It marked the second-largest streaming audience ever for a regular-season Sunday NFL game for NBC Sports.

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