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Dave Portnoy‘s contract with Barstool Sports expires in January 2025. And he’s unsure if he will re-sign.
“My contract’s done in 20 months,” Portnoy told podcast host Kirk Minihane. “There’s been some talk about it … who knows what [Penn is] thinking at this point.”
Penn Entertainment, the parent company of Barstool, finalized an acquisition of the brand earlier this year for a total of $551 million.
This month, Portnoy publicly objected to Penn’s decision to fire Ben Mintz for singing the n-word during a live podcast.
“I’ve been fighting tooth and nail — this is the wrong decision,” said Portnoy on Twitter. “But Penn operates in a world that we don’t operate in. They are highly regulated by the government. They’re issued licenses for gambling that just as easily as they’re issued, they can be pulled back.”
Portnoy is now an employee. Not an executive. Meaning, the common sense, counter-culture approach upon which he built Barstool does not apply to a major entertainment company like Penn.
Portnoy has become best known for his social media videos that air on his personal accounts. Users don’t necessarily associate his videos with Barstool.
In a way, Dave Portnoy is bigger than the brand.
Thereby a gambling company, as Penn is, may not be able to sufficiently monetize the influence of Portnoy, who’s now more cultural celebrity than sports media personality.
A departure from Portnoy would make Dan “Big Cat” Katz the face of Barstool Sports.
Big Cat hosts the leading sports podcast Pardon My Take. Katz is the first or second most popular sports media personality under 40, next to Pat McAfee.
Portnoy says Katz “is locked in for a very long time” with Penn.
As for Portnoy, he goes “back and forth” on what he’d do post-Barstool.
“Would I just do a podcast a week that’s totally unfiltered? Would I enjoy doing that? Maybe,” he pondered aloud. “There’s part of me that thinks I’d be like, OK I’m done.
A venture away from Barstool could be more lucrative than re-signing. Portnoy has already cashed out on multiple acquisitions and can now only draw a salary from Barstool.
Could Portnoy Go Independent Post-Barstool?
With 3 million and 4 million followers on Twitter and Instagram, respectively, Dave doesn’t need a corporation to back him.
Twitter, specifically, is making an aggressive play into podcasting and live video. Already, Tucker Carlson and The Daily Wire — both with whom Pornoty has a relationship — have committed to streaming programs on Twitter.
Portnoy could do the same.
Rumble, YouTube, Facebook, Spotify, and various providers are also options. And Netflix, as he suggested:
“I go through different things, the pizza stuff, I’d like to do long-form, I enjoy doing that … Like a pizza show on Netflix where you’re doing like 15 minutes a spot … I like doing it. It excites me. I think it’d be wildly successful … like [Anthony] Bourdain of what I’m doing.”
Dave Portnoy doesn’t need Barstool.
One CommentLeave a Reply
Agreed! I would love to see him bring the pizza reviews to Twitter or Rumble.