Barstool Sports Founder: ‘Premium Service’ Is Coming, Encouraged By Chernin Group

Barstool Sports is moving toward providing a “premium service” for its readers, according to founder Dave Portnoy.

Earlier this week during Barstool Radio, Portnoy mentioned the new content offering, which sounds like it’s still in the developmental phase.

“We have a premium service that we’ll eventually be launching,” Portnoy said. “Not sure when. Don’t fucking freak out all of the people. It won’t be, we’re not going to put shit behind a paywall, but it’ll be new stuff. (The Chernin Group) wants us to do it, so it’s very important to the company, blah blah blah. We are going to do it. One of the things, like video and it’s a package. You’re going to get a bunch of extra shit. Again, probably not supposed to talk about it, but I talk about what I want to talk about.”

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Portnoy went on to further explain the video element of the premium offering, and Barstool blogger Kevin Clancy chimed in, saying that there would be a simulcast element to it.

“You can watch us. There will be extra content. There will be all sorts of perks, a whole nice package,” added Clancy, although it’s unclear which Barstool podcasts and radio elements would be simulcast, whether maybe in real-time or on-demand.

Barstool announced last month that it would also be launching a 24/7 channel on SiriusXM in January. Maybe some of those shows could be packaged into the premium offering as well.

“They’ll be more coming on that in the future,” continued Portnoy on Barstool Radio about the premium service. “In my head, I quickly did the math. It’s like, what’s the downside of saying it’s coming? Nothing in my mind.”

In July when I still contributed to Forbes SportsMoney Blog, I wrote an in-depth piece on Barstool Sports. The idea of a subscription/premium content offering was something that Chief Executive Officer Erika Nardini said she was exploring at the time.

In addition, when ESPN cancelled Barstool Van Talk after just one episode in late October, Portnoy remarked in a pseudo-press conference how “the only thing that may change for all of you Stoolies out there is we may eventually be like, we got to take money out of your pockets now and stuff like that.”

Added Portnoy: “Hey, we’re going to do subscriptions or different things like that because we’re willing to sacrifice outside pressures, which will dictate what you do, to keep our content real.”

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About Mark J. Burns

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