Barstool Sports and MLB are in advanced talks on featuring midweek games on the Barstool Sports platform, according to The New York Post. These talks are what Dave Portnoy, the founder of Barstool, referred to last week when he said that his company has contact with some major leagues.
The potential partnership between Barstool and MLB would create broadcasting opportunities that are focused on in-game wagering. Even though an agreement is still not certain, sources say that the chances of the deal materializing are 50-50. Barstool and MLB, however, are keeping silent.
The Current TV Deals that MLB Has
At the moment, MLB has contracts with Fox, ESPN and Turner. But, the ESPN contract, which will start next year, does not include the non-exclusive games on Monday and Wednesday. Moreover, Turner will move the games from the regular season from Sunday to Tuesday at the start of the next season.
Now, streaming the midweek national games on YouTube is a possibility, as MLB has done that for three years. What’s even more interesting is the fact that, last month, Peacock completed some weekend series, which is why it is also considered a contender.
Barstool Sticks Out From The Competition
Even though there are a number of options for MLB, Barstool manages to stick out because it has a much better connection to the young MLB audience and could come up with a unique approach. The games are expected to be delivered via Barstool’s website, Twitter and Instagram accounts, and other media channels.
Recently, Barstool announced that it will sponsor and broadcast the college football Arizona Bowl. After all, Portnoy considers sports leagues as opportunities to make money, which is no wonder why the company wants to get involved with MLB as well.
The chief revenue officer of MLB, Noah Garden, stated that his desire is to make the sport of baseball more appealing to the youth. Additionally, he was open about the desire for gambling expansion and the idea of alternative broadcasting sits well with him.
A show that is focused on baseball, Bettor’s Eye, was scheduled to air on Monday and the new episodes are set to be broadcasted on the MLB Network in the next three Mondays. Segments of the program have run on the network previously.
Mark DeRosa, Sabathia, Jason Kendall and Matt Vasgersian will hang out on the game between the Cubs and the Brewers on Tuesday night on MLB Network. With this endeavor, Barstool is not only trying to be the center for sports gambling and media, but now, it also considers live games.
Penn National Buys a Canadian Betting App
Penn National, which owns 31% of Barstool, recently bought theScore, a Canadian betting app. Now, it has sportsbooks in quite a few states and the list is growing. What’s even more impressive is that the focus is now on live games, as well.
There is just one problem that the potential streamers will have to overcome if they want to place in-game bets. That is the lag that comes between the stream and the live action, and this is an issue that must be eliminated.
Doing business with Barstool may have a negative impact on MLB, as the company has faced accusations of being misogynistic. However, it is accepted and embraced by many major leagues and has become a popular choice for players, Bryce Harper included.
Barstool would not be tasked to do the production of the matches because it could just take the feeds from RSNs (regional sports networks). Then, Barstool would be able to produce its broadcast that is focused on gambling and without analysts and play-by-play commentary. Dan (Big Cat) Katz, Portnoy and Eric Hubbs, who writes about the Yankees on the site, could be featured.
If a nonexclusive deal is completed, Barstool would still be an alternative broadcast, as the games will be featured at RSNs. This means that local fans who are fonder of the traditional approach will not experience any changes.