Two of the internet’s greatest provocateurs got together for a podcast this week. Clay Travis was a guest on Barstool’s The Dave Portnoy Show with Eddie & Company. Despite the fact that they approach entertainment in the same way, it has been a while since Travis and Portnoy have spoken due to a disagreement and some professional rivalry between them.
“This, I guess, is the end of the Cold War,” Portnoy said when he brought Clay onto the show. Portnoy’s first question was whether or not Travis expected to be walking into an ambush.
“I did,” Travis answered honestly.
The interview was actually the exact opposite of an ambush. It began with Portnoy praising Travis for the deal he made to sell Outkick to FOX. While Travis said the sale price had not yet been made public and wouldn’t go into details, he did say he was “super happy” with the sales price and that he would be “a hundred million dollar plus guy,” taxes not withstanding. Clay stated that Outkick didn’t set out to sell the company, but as groups began to seek them out and express interest, it just made sense to pursue the opportunity.
Clay said he was motivated to sell due to the heat in the gambling industry right now. Barstool was one of the companies who discussed the possibility of acquiring Outkick. DraftKings did so as well. Clay projects that in the future, online sportsbooks will be run by “the four or five guys positioned to be standing in a big way.” He added that if he were leading a sports betting company today he’d make an aggressive run at Adam Schefter, Adrian Wojnarowski and other high profile newsbreakers. Portnoy and Travis agreed that gambling companies are likely overvalued right now and this is the time any content creator can make the most money from them.
“We probably played a fairly significant role in that,” Portnoy said, referencing the 2020 sale of Barstool Sports to Penn National.
One subject Portnoy was particularly interested in was exclusivity. He was surprised to learn that Outkick will not be forced to exclusively play and promote the FOX Bet app.
“We are still in charge of negotiating what partnerships we are going to have,” Travis said. “We are not exclusive to FOX Bet. At Outkick, we’re talking to everybody right now.” That apparently includes FanDuel, who Travis says Outkick is in negotiations with on an extension of the online gambling giant’s sponsorship.
FOX reportedly didn’t just want the Outkick name. They specifically wanted Travis and his brand’s sports betting influence. Clay told Portnoy that Outkick is either #1 or near the top among affiliate sites in delivering signups for FanDuel. He revealed that similar to the conditions Penn National put on Barstool in order for that sale to close, FOX locked Travis into a five year deal to continue creating content for the site.
According to Travis, Outkick was on track to generate a 10 million profit in 2021. That left him questioning whether it was smart to sell in the 2nd inning rather than the 5th. But once FOX emerged as a suitor, he felt good about the fit. The combination of the company’s reach in sports and news, its position in the sports betting space, his eight years of working with them, and their willingness to stand behind talent when they step into a fire made them the right business partner for Outkick.
Mike Francesa: George Steinbrenner’s Idea to Put Mike and The Mad Dog On YES Network
“It was George’s idea. So give him credit for it. He wanted Mike and The Mad Dog as part of the CBS Radio contract, and we were.”
Mike and The Mad Dog is often cited as one of, if not the, best sports radio shows of all time. The show saw an expanded reach with its partnership with the YES Network beginning in 2002. During his podcast Tuesday, Mike Francesa gave all the credit to the simulcast hitting the air on YES Network to the late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.
“It was George Steinbrenner that came up with the idea of Mike and The Mad Dog being on the YES Network. No one else,” Francesa said.
“They came to us when they were negotiating a new radio deal with him and they said ‘Hey, we need a quick answer on this. Would you guys want to be on the YES Network every day, simulcasting? You know what Imus is doing with MSNBC? We wanna do it with you guys, but we need a very quick answer’.”
Francesa said the show airing on YES Network was a sticking point for the Yankees in negotiations with CBS Radio to continue airing the franchise’s broadcasts.
“Our first deal with them were not for a lot of money. Our later deals with them were for a very significant amount of money. But it was George’s idea. So give him credit for it. He wanted Mike and The Mad Dog as part of the CBS Radio contract, and we were. Our joining the YES Network was part of the CBS Radio contract.”
Dave Portnoy Reveals Back-And-Forth With New York Times Reporter Who Claimed He ‘Did Not Provide Answers’
“You waited till (sic) your hit piece was done and now you just need to say you gave me a fair chance to speak even though you have no interest in the truth and your article is already written”.
A story from The New York Times centered around “aging casino company” — Penn National Gaming — and its relationship with “degenerate gambler” — Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy — caught the eye of the face of the online outlet after the claim that he “didn’t provide answers”.
In the story, Steel claims “Penn and Barstool executives did not respond to repeated messages. Mr. Portnoy did not provide answers.” Portnoy brought the receipts to Twitter with a video of all of the correspondence he had with Times writer Emily Steel.
The alleged conversation takes place sporadically from May through November, with Portnoy offering to meet face-to-face with Steel for an interview that is mutually audio and video recorded, which Steel declines. She offered to meet Portnoy in New York for an audio recorded interview, which he declined, saying the interview needed to take place in Miami, because “I’m not running around to accommodate you at the 11th hour.”
He added “You waited till (sic) your hit piece was done and now you just need to say you gave me a fair chance to speak even though you have no interest in the truth and your article is already written”.
Kareem Daniel Leaving Disney After Bob Iger Reassumes Role as Company CEO
“This is a time of enormous change and challenges in our industry, and our work will also focus on creating a more efficient and cost-effective structure.”
Bob Iger is back as the CEO of Disney, and one of the first moves he made was to announce a company restructure. Part of that restructure includes the departure of Kareem Daniel, the chair of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution (DMED).
DMED was formed under now-previous CEO Bob Chapek. The division manages Disney’s streaming services which includes ESPN+.
Daniel was considered one of those closest to Chapek. Iger announced Daniel’s departure in a memo to employees at DMED.
“It is my intention to restructure things in a way that honors and respects creativity as the heart and soul of who we are,” Iger said in the memo. “As you know, this is a time of enormous change and challenges in our industry, and our work will also focus on creating a more efficient and cost-effective structure.”
ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro will join other company leaders in coming up with a new company structure that Iger hopes “puts more decision-making back in the hands of our creative teams and rationalizes costs.”
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.