DraftKings Makes It Rain Again In Deal With ESPN Vet Le Batard

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Le Batard

DraftKings has continued its foray into the media space with a “first-of-its-kind” content deal with Meadowlark Media and popular personality Dan Le Batard.

Under the agreement announced Tuesday, DraftKings will distribute Meadowlark’s Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz podcast and other shows across its platforms.

The shows will feature DraftKings Sportsbook odds, betting trends and “general sportsbook and daily fantasy information.”

A hint of the deal first appeared last week in Indiana. Meadowlark signed up there as a “sports wagering registrant,” apparently in advance of this announcement.

New content included as well

In addition to that agreement, DraftKings plans to commission new content that Meadowlark will develop and produce.

The Miami Herald reported DraftKings spent about $40 million on the deal over three years. The Wall Street Journal reported the deal as $50 million.

The Le Batard Show will continue as a podcast for a few weeks before launching a YouTube version in the summer. DraftKings will be the title sponsor.

The relationship between DK and Meadowlark

DraftKings invested between $500,000 and $2 million in Meadowlark back in April, following the launch of the company in January. The media business was founded by ESPN veterans John Skipper and Le Batard.

Le Batard thanked DraftKings for providing “rocket fuel and total freedom” to the company.

“I’m overjoyed to team with a fearless creative partner who sees the future and wants to help us change it,” Le Batard said. “DraftKings believed in us, our principles and our mission enough to give us a freedom that no scared corporation or traditional media partner ever could or ever would.

“To our fans, know that DraftKings is the reason you aren’t behind a paywall, and I’m promising you the money won’t change the show or corrupt us in any way.”

Le Batard famously butted heads with ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro over show content in 2019. He announced his departure from ESPN the following year.

DraftKings plans on becoming more than a sportsbook

The deal is the latest expansion into the media space for DraftKings.

The firm acquired Vegas Sports and Information Network (VSiN) last month and has been linked with further media purchases like The Action Network.

The Boston-based operator also hired a chief media officer earlier this month. Brian Angiolet will work with VSiN and Meadowlark on “efficient content models” to maximize reach to new customers.

Skin in the game

DraftKings CEO Jason Robins said the deal would help it bring “premium content to skin-in-the-game sports fans.”

Meadowlark CEO John Skipper added:

“With the freedom to widely distribute [the Le Batard programs], we’ll be able to reach the largest possible audience and provide incredible content to DraftKings.”

DK stock was relatively unmoved on Tuesday, last up 0.5% to $59.57.