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Dave Portnoy: ESPN Rejection Shaped Future Of Barstool

“You can do whatever you want at Barstool. Sink or swim. The internet weeds it out.”

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Sometimes, in life, certain things may not happen the way people want them to, but it may end up being all for the better in the end. For Dave Portnoy, the president and founder of Barstool Sports, that was the case back in 2017 when it appeared that the Pardon My Take podcast was going to move to ESPN as a show called Barstool Van Talk. 

On Friday, Portnoy was a guest on The Dan Dakich Show podcast and he told Dakich that the deal not working out with ESPN worked out for Barstool and defined the company moving forward.

“It turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to us,” Portnoy said. “Barstool was at an interesting point. If they made a big offer, we wouldn’t have been able to match it. It drove Dan back to Barstool fully and it really kind of galvanized us vs. the world. It plays to our advantage.”

Portnoy went deeper into what exactly happened that cause the partnership to fail. To the surprise of no one, he did mention Sam Ponder. He showed her begrudging respect for the way she put herself in the center of undoing a deal that the network and Barstool had been working on for over a year. 

“I was always a little uncomfortable with the deal because I thought ESPN wanted to test drive Dan and PFT. We have the show and then, I had made fun of Sam Ponder 3 years beforehand on the College Football show. She had her kid on and I said in graphic language, which I wish I didn’t use, nobody is tuning in to see a little kid. You are a very attractive woman. Young guys want to see you. Get the kid off the show.

“She sat on it and I give her credit because that’s something I do. I’m a grudge guy. The day after the show, she’s like this is who we are doing business with and it became a big power struggle with ESPN. They cancelled the show after 1 day.”

Barstool Sports aggressively touts its “us vs. the world mentality.” Portnoy told Dakich that “98%” of what is written about the site is easy to dismiss because it is written by people that don’t make an attempt to understand what he and his staff do.

“There’s a group of people who don’t like me. I’m used to it. Somebody said this to me the other day, he people who don’t like me, if I was walking across water, they would say it’s because I can’t swim. We are not for them. Turn the channel off. Don’t pay attention to me. I don’t care.” 

During the interview, Portnoy said that he feels Barstool has a distinct advantage over competitors such as ESPN. He isn’t trying to find shows that appeal to certain demographics. Portnoy said he accepts he does not have the answers. He will let the audience determine what is and isn’t a good idea.

“I don’t care what your background is. If you come off a cornfield or whatever, if you make me laugh, if you are talented, I will hire you. I don’t tell them what to do. I don’t come up with the ideas. You can do whatever you want at Barstool. Sink or swim. The internet weeds it out.” 

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Media Reacts To Nick Saban’s Comments On Texas A&M, Jackson State

“Saban’s comments and the ensuing rebuttals will be used to fuel content on sports television and radio through the offseason and likely beyond.”

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Nick Saban had some choice words about recruiting in the NIL era on Wednesday night. The Alabama head coach didn’t just voice frustrations with the process. He called out three schools specifically for using Name, Image and Likeness payments to create an advantage for themselves in recruiting.

He said that Texas A&M, which signed the top-ranked recruiting class in 2022 according to a number of outlets “bought every player on their team.”

He said that Jackson State gave a player $1 million to come to the school. “It was in the paper,” he said. “They bragged about it! Nobody did anything about it.”

It is likely that he was talking about defensive back Travis Hunter, widely regarded as one of the five best players in the class of 2022. It should be noted that Jackson State Coach Deion Sanders has been adamant that Hunter did not receive a dime from the school or anyone else.

The comments created plenty of content on sports radio on Thursday.

Jimbo Fischer, the head coach of Texas A&M took the story to a new level with a press conference of his own in which he cryptically encouraged people to “dig into” Saban’s career history.

The commentary in the sports media came in all kinds of forms. Plenty took to Twitter to express an opinion.

Others used the feud to create comedy.

Finally, others did actual reporting. they made phone calls to get context and further the story.

The coaches may be relatively quiet in public for a while. That doesn’t mean the stories and reactions are going away. Saban’s comments and the ensuing rebuttals will be used to fuel content on sports television and radio through the offseason and likely beyond.

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Bleav Announces Partnership With SiriusXM

“The Bleav podcasts come with some serious star power. Each show features a former player paired with a host to discuss the latest news about their team. In adding Bleav, SiriusXM adds the likes of Eric Davis, Lorenzo Neal, Adam “Pac Man” Jones and others to its roster.”

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A new partnership will see content from the Bleav Podcast Network come under the SiriusXM umbrella. All 32 of the network’s NFL team-specific podcasts will now be available on the SXM app. The satellite radio company will also have the ability to air Bleav content on its sports channels.

“SiriusXM is a leader in content. We’re very happy to be a part of their programming and continue to amplify the voice of our talent,” Bleav CEO Bron Heussenstamm said in a press release. “SiriusXM listeners will be able to regularly hear from athletes that played for their team, bringing fans insight and access that only a player can.”

The Bleav podcasts come with some serious star power. Each show features a former player paired with a host to discuss the latest news about their team. In adding Bleav, SiriusXM adds the likes of Eric Davis, Lorenzo Neal, Adam “Pac Man” Jones and others to its roster.

The deal will also lead to more content in the future. The companies expect to add to the Bleav content available on the SXM App, including shows focused on other professional and college sports. 

“Bleav’s team-focused programming, hosted by many former stars from the league, give fans a unique and experienced perspective into their favorite players and franchises,” said Steve Cohen, SiriusXM’s SVP of Sports Programming and Podcasts.  “Bleav’s network of shows deliver valuable insight for fans of every NFL team.  They are a great addition to the selection of sports podcasts available on the SXM App and we look forward to adding other shows, focused on other sports, from the Bleav network to SiriusXM in the future.” 

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Dave Portnoy Offers Pat Beverley ‘Blank Check’ To Join Barstool

“Just say how many zeros and guarantee us once a week, you are hired.”

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Minnesota Timberwolves player Pat Beverley turned heads with his comments about Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul after the Suns were eliminated from the NBA Playoffs.

Beverley told Mike Greenberg and Stephen A. Smith on Monday that he thinks Paul is a “traffic cone,” due to his poor defense and that on nights he knows he’s playing Paul he’ll have a nice steak dinner and wine the night before. He said he’s in bed by 8 p.m. and doesn’t want to hear from his mom or girlfriend if he’s playing Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors.

Pat’s comments got the attention of Barstool Sports president Dave Portnoy. Portnoy said Monday he liked Beverley so much that he would hire him to do a podcast for Barstool.

“If Pat Beverley is a Barstool fan and he’s watching this, he has a blank check. You name your price for a podcast, and we will hire you — no questions asked,” Portnoy said. “Just say how many zeros and guarantee us once a week, you are hired.”

Portnoy made the push to sign Beverley to a podcast deal as the company seeks to scale back the number of podcasts it produces. Barstool CEO Erika Nardini announced the decision to cut shows last week.

No word if Beverley has responded to Portnoy’s offer.

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