Dana White predicts death of Barstool Sports with Dave Portnoy’s future uncertain


May 25, 2023 | 5:07 p.m.

UFC president Dana White doesn’t see a bright future for Barstool Sports after being acquired by Penn Entertainment earlier this year.

During a Wednesday appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show,” White appeared to disapprove of Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy’s decision to sell the company to Penn Entertainment and explained why bringing in corporate “costumes” is bad for business.

It came a day after Portnoy revealed on ‘The Kirk Minihane Show’ that his contract was up in 20 months, and he’s unsure if he’ll reach an extension with the parent company.

“I would much rather do this show than any of the linear TV shows,” White said of “The Pat McAfee Show,” which is moving to ESPN in a multimillion-dollar deal that should start in the fall, Andrew of the Post. reports Marchand. “It’s much, much better.

“Let me tell you what, once you start involving suits in your business and these goddamn businessmen who think they know what the fuck they’re doing…and most of them don’t know the bullshit.

UFC President Dana White on “The Pat McAfee Show” on May 24, 2023. Twitter

“…You’re going to see that with Barstool over the next two years too. They came in and they ransomed him, they ransomed Portnoy.

“I had a situation yesterday with Barstool and it also turns into a fucking corporate show. That’s what happens when those fucking suits are involved in your business.

White and his former business partners Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta sold the UFC to Endeavor in 2016 and teamed up with ESPN for a blockbuster TV deal in 2019.

Barstool Sports’ Dave Portnoy attends the UFC 281 event at Madison Square Garden on November 12, 2022 in New York City. Zuffa LLC

White’s comments sparked rumors that he had ended his relationship with Barstool Sports, and the UFC boss purged the air during a press conference for his TBS competition show, “Power Slap “.

“No, that’s not true,” White told reporters on Wednesday. “Listen, what I said today about Pat McAfee was not about Barstool Sports, it was about Penn Gaming.

“Basically what I’m saying is when you build a business like Barstool Sports, the way it was built with a guy like Dave Portnoy, once you have a bunch of costumes involved…it just changes the overall dynamics. Ask Vice how it went.

Dana White chats with the press after the event at the UFC Apex for the UFC Vegas 73 – Dern vs Hill event on May 20, 2023 in Las Vegas, NV. Sportswire icon via Getty Images

Penn, a physical casino company, acquired 36% of Barstool Sports from the Chernin Group for $163 million in early 2020 and purchased the rest of the company for an additional $388 million in February 2023.

Ahead of White’s Wednesday appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show,” Portnoy coyly played down his future with Barstool Sports while discussing his parent company.

“Who knows where I will be in 3-5 years,” Portnoy said. “I think Dan [Katz], which I would say is very good for Barstool, has clearly been locked up for a very long time. There he created this huge factory of fantasies. I think it’s great for Barstool.

Portnoy said he had no end date in mind for his time at Barstool, adding that his contract would end in 20 months from May.

“There have been discussions about it. Like you said [previously]who knows what they’re thinking at this point,” he said.

Portnoy — who founded Barstool Sports in 2003 as a free print tabloid for Boston-area transit commuters — has previously spoken about the backlash that he’s a “sellout” following the controversial dismissal of the host Ben Mintz for rapping a racial slur on a live stream.

“So I’ve had all the Toms, Dicks and Harrys since that Mintzy thing going, ‘Pres, you’re a sellout. Hey Pres, you’ve sold’,” Portnoy said in a video on Twitter, admitting it is exactly what he did. “Are you just figuring this out? I started a business and sold it. Made hundreds of millions, made millions for everyone who worked.”

Warning: Explicit language

“Yeah, we sold the f–k because that’s what you do when you’re an entrepreneur. You start that little business you dream of one day and you sell it completely. That always means that decision sucks. I hate it, it makes me want to vomit.

“But guess what, when I sold, a few words, a few things are very clear: you say those things, those decisions are no longer mine. I can’t protect you, you know why, because I sold myself.

Portnoy previously said he disagreed with Penn CEO Jay Snowden on the decision to fire Mintz, adding that the move could deal a “mortal blow” to Barstool’s reputation.

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