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DraftKings Pays $50 Million for Rights to Dan Le Batard’s Show

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DraftKings has agreed to pay at least $50 million over three years to distribute Dan Le Batard’s show, which he took on his own after leaving ESPN last year. According to the Wall Street Journal, DraftKings will look to make money on the show by selling advertising and by sub-licensing the podcast to radio stations and other audio providers.

Le Batard and former ESPN President John Skipper formed Meadowlark Media earlier this year. The media start-up owns Le Batard’s podcast and other podcasts included on his network.

Meadowlark Media has been described as a “progressive response to OutKick,” a company that will go further Left than ESPN. Jemele Hill is already involved.

An interesting note in the report is that DraftKings will try to sub-license the podcast to radio stations. Le Batard’s show, while a digital success, did not perform even average on ESPN Radio. Outside of Miami, where Le Batard made his name, the terrestrial radio market could be limited.

Le Batard’s podcast averages 10 million to 12 million monthly downloads. The WSJ adds that Meadowlark opted to license the podcast as it does not have a “dedicated ad sales staff or a team of deal makers who can strike deals with different providers.”

OutKick’s Sam Amico previously wrote that Meadowlark Media’s investors include DraftKings, Snap Inc. chairman Michael Lynton and DAZN, where Skipper most recently served as a chairman. Lynton is also the former head of Sony Pictures.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack covers media, politics, and sports at OutKick.

13 Comments

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  1. Foolish for the likes of Snap and DraftKings to pay this much for licensing content. Because they are huge e-commerce companies, they got the money to burn and Dan Le Batard and John Skipper become the beneficiary of this not because of merit, but on the fact that big tech companies (which include DraftKings btw) have the money to gamble and see what sticks. Really a pathetic strategy actually. The fact that John Skipper, Le Batard, Hill, etc. don’t have sales staff for their venture and rely on the licensing strategy indicate that they don’t have confidence in their product one radio station at a time (sort of what Jim Rome did early in the days) and they lucked out because tech money now has money to spend and wants to get in the game.

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