The partnership with Le Batard and John Skipper’s Meadowlark Media is the first of its kind for the sports betting giant.
In January, Dan Le Batard and the popular radio show and podcast that bears his name ended their relationship with ESPN and struck out on their own. What followed was the formulation of Meadowlark Media, a venture co-founded by the host and John Skipper, ESPN’s former president, which took on the rights to what has long been known as “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz.”
What Meadowlark did not have, however, was the means to distribute the show to radio waves and podcast feeds — until today. Thanks to a three-year, $50 million deal, sports betting titan DraftKings is Meadowlark’s first media licensing partner.
The company will now take charge of sub-licensing the show, as well as the broader “Le Batard & Friends Network,” to radio stations and digital platforms. This will be done on a non-exclusive, paywall-free basis, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The move is a major step forward for DraftKings, which had already begun expanding their in-house content operations via acquisition, but has never boasted a personality with the notoriety and reach of their newest star — the podcast version of “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” reportedly averages eight figures in downloads every month.
“This is the biggest win in the history of our show. We just cashed a bet we made on ourselves and our audience. While talking to traditional media partners, we quickly realized we are the traditional media partner,” Le Batard told the Miami Herald. “DraftKings is literally banking on us helping them change how all this is done. They’re sponsors in the purest supporting sense. They’re financially funding our fight for freedom, rewarding us for leaving the corporate confines.”
With the sports betting industry experiencing something of a pandemic-proof boom, the big players in the space have increasingly emphasisized producing their own content. This move stands out, however, as Le Batard’s media footprint includes topics far beyond simply gambling. It reflects an appetite among major brands like DraftKings to attract not just diehard sharps, but general sports and pop culture enthusiasts who might be ignorant of (or disinterested in) their traditional odds-based offerings.
“We’re thrilled to find a partner in DraftKings that shares our vision to continue to grow Dan Le Batard’s already wildly popular network of shows,” said Skipper, who serves as Meadowlark’s CEO, via the Miami Herald. “We’ll be able to reach the largest possible audience and provide incredible value to DraftKings.”
In sports, we love it when headstrong personalities bet on themselves and forge an unexpected path. Consider this latest move — for Meadowlark and DraftKings alike — the latest $50 million example.