DraftKings Buys Rights to Le Batard Podcast Network for $50 Million

Eben Novy-Williams
·2 min read

DraftKings has purchased the rights to distribute the popular sports podcast hosted by former ESPN personality Dan Le Batard, the gambling company’s latest acquisition in its rapidly growing media enterprise.

Under the agreement, DraftKings will take over the distribution, monetization and sponsorship of The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz, the flagship show of Meadowlark Media, the firm launched earlier this year by Le Batard and former ESPN president John Skipper. The news comes just a few weeks after DraftKings participated in a $12.6 million Meadowlark funding round.

The deal, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, is worth more than $50 million over three years, according to someone familiar with the terms. Representatives for both Meadowlark and DraftKings declined to comment on the financial specifics.

Current subscribers to the show won’t notice any changes on where and how they get the podcast. DraftKings will now be responsible for selling ads and for increasing the show’s reach, including distribution for the entire Le Batard & Friends Network across radio, television, digital and social media channels. The gambling operator’s odds and betting trends will also feature across the network.

DraftKings, which has billions in cash on its balance sheet, is investing rapidly in its media enterprise. The company acquires the bulk of its new customers through various media buys, and as the lines between sports betting and media continue to blur, it is hoping to simultaneously add heft in both domains. In the past few weeks DraftKings has acquired the Vegas Stats and Information Network (VSiN) and hired former Verizon executive Brian Angiolet as its first chief media officer. (Monday was Angiolet’s first day on the job).

The deal is Meadowlark’s first major licensing agreement, made possible by the unique nature of Le Batard’s departure from ESPN. When he left the company at the end of last year, Le Batard negotiated for the RSS feed to his show, one of the most popular sports podcasts in the country. That allowed him to maintain continuity with his followers, also making the show a lot more valuable as he and Skipper sought a new distribution deal.

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