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MLS Seeks $300 Million Media Rights Deal

“They will do well, but there’s things that are working for them and things that will perhaps reduce their increase.”

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Major League Soccer is coming off one of the most successful seasons in its history at a very opportune time for the league. The MLS is trying to convince networks that it is worth around $300,000,000 ahead of their current TV deal ending in 2022.

The league’s broadcast rights are currently split three ways between ESPN, FOX, and Univision. The current deals generate roughly $90 million annually, so the $300 million would be a big jump for the MLS.

The sport of soccer is growing exponentially in the US and that really should help the league’s bargaining position.

NBCUniversal agreed to pay $2.7 billion to retain the Premier League’s US broadcast rights. That figure is up from the $1 billion EPL received from the network in the previous agreement. This alone should help the MLS when it comes time to negotiate.

Another reason for optimism when it comes to the MLS is that the league itself has been steadily growing.

For the 2021 regular season, MLS said it averaged 276,000 viewers for 31 regular-season games across ESPN channels, including ABC. That’s up from the average 233,000 viewers who consumed 39 MLS games in 2020 on ESPN platforms.

“They will do well,” said Lee Berke of LHB Sports, a sports media consultancy firm. “But there’s things that are working for them and things that will perhaps reduce their increase.”

One of those things that could potentially limit how much the league could see from networks is that the U.S. Soccer Federation, which operates the rights, ended its partnership with Soccer United Marketing, the marketing arm for the MLS last May. That means MLS can’t add those rights to its new package.

Without those rights, media pundits believe that the MLS may fall short of their hope of $300 million for a TV deal. Many expect it to be more in the range of $200 million instead.

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Dave Portnoy Tells Business Insider CEO He Is ‘Piece Of S*** Coward’

“Despite objections from the moderator, Dave Portnoy got out his entire question before his mic was muted.”

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Dave Portnoy is not going to move on from his hate of Business Insider. The Barstool founder joined a Twitter Spaces session on Thursday night where the public had a chance to talk to Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget.

The event was hosted by the New York Times. Blodget was part of a panel discussing issues facing the business community.

“So yeah, I saw that piece of shit Henry Blodget’s on there,” Portnoy said when his mic went live. “My first question’s why would a piece of shit who’s been banned by the SEC from talking about stocks be on there. My second question is hey Henry, you f***ing coward, you know everything you wrote about me was bullshit. Why don’t you ever sit down with me you f***ing piece of shit coward. That’s my question.”

Despite objections from the moderator, Dave Portnoy got out his entire question before his mic was muted. No answer came. The moderator apologized to Blodget and ended the event.

The accusations of Blodget being banned by the SEC from discussing financial advice are true. Portnoy was referncing fraud charges that Blodget settled in 2003 when he was a Wall Street analyst.

Business Insider has ran a salacious piece about Portnoy’s sex life in November. It included accusations of misconduct from three women that claimed consensual sexual encounters with Portnoy took a dark turn without their consent.

Dave Portnoy has maintained the story is not true. He has also threatened to sue Blodget, Business Insider and the story’s author Julia Black.

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Mile High Sports Acquires Colorado Preps

“Mile High Sports adds Colorado Preps to a portfolio that includes a radio brand broadcasting on 98.1 FM and 107.5 FM HD-3 in Denver, a magazine, and MileHighSports.com.”

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Mile High Sports has acquired the Colorado Preps brand, including ColoradoPreps.com and the company’s radio and podcast networks. The deal is effective immediately.

“I am proud of what we’ve accomplished through 19 years of the Colorado Preps Network and very excited about the future with Mile High Sports,” said Kevin Shaffer, owner and founder of Colorado Preps. “The MHS crew is poised to bring additional and expanded coverage to high school sports across the state and we’re honored to stay involved with the network and help its growth.”

He will remain on the staff and continue hosting and producing radio and digital shows.

“With the elimination of the Rocky Mountain News, and shrinking budgets across most news outlets, local high school sports coverage has often and unfortunately become the casualty,” said Mile High Sports Editor-in-Chief Doug Ottewill. “But there will always be kids playing sports and parents wanting to read about those kids playing sports. I think ColoradoPreps.com fills a need and a niche that will never go away, no matter what’s happening on the bigger sports landscape in Colorado.”

Mile High Sports adds Colorado Preps to a portfolio that includes a radio brand broadcasting on 98.1 FM and 107.5 FM HD-3 in Denver, a magazine, and MileHighSports.com.

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Barstool Sports To Eliminate Some Podcasts

“We almost created a model where we started with all the resources, we didn’t start with the idea or the people and as a result, we have a lot of things that weren’t necessarily going in the right places.”

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Barstool Sports is doing some internal re-organizing. As a result, some shows are being cancelled.

Talking on her podcast Token CEO, Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini said the company has looked under the hood the past few months and are trying to clean things up.

Nardini also stated that the company’s spending needs to be reined in. She feels like too much has been invested in content that hasn’t been delivered, and creative freedom has become more of a curse than a blessing.

“We almost created a model where we started with all the resources, we didn’t start with the idea or the people and as a result, we have a lot of things that weren’t necessarily going in the right places,” she said.

In the podcast space, Barstool has 94 different offerings to choose from. Nardini said it’s just become too much, and they’re going to have to scale things back.

“No company of our size should have 94 shows,” she said. “What was my mistake and our mistake? We treated all 94 shows equal.”

Nardini realizes that means tough decisions are going to have to be made. Good, talented people will either have to move on or their jobs will be re-purposed.

“I’m bummed that it impacts people’s jobs,” she said. “I think that is a really, really serious thing when a role gets impacted and things change. You have to take that with a little bit of a heavy heart.”

Erika didn’t specify which shows, in particular, would be getting the ax, but it’s believed that the show Podfathers will be among them.

Show co-hosts Michael McCarthy aka “Large” and Justin Clemenza aka “Clem” took to Twitter and to the Barstool blog to announce the parenting podcast was no more.

Jordan Demcher aka “Jordie” tweeted a couple of thoughts on the situation but then clarified his podcast would carry on.

Keep your eyes on social media over the next few days for more details on this situation from Barstool’s personalities.

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