Barstool Sports, the unapologetic “dude” sports platform with an intensely passionate fan base, broke onto TV last week with “The Barstool Rundown Live from Houston on Comedy Central.”
Barstool is one of those media companies you see only every few years — different from anything else and experiencing rapid success.
It started as a print publication in Boston offering fantasy football projections. It has grown into a media phenom via a popular online destination with a cult-like following, a robust audio network including some of the top podcasts like Pardon My Take, KFC Radio, The Dave Portnoy Show and Zero Blog Thirty as well as twice-weekly, 2-hour show on SiriusXM, a huge social following and now TV shows on Comedy Central.
In its first night, The Barstool Rundown was Comedy Central’s top program among M18-34, beating Daily Show by +7%.
Barstool does carry controversy as a result of embracing of “Bro Culture.” In a smart move that surprised quite a few, Barstool hired Erika Nardini as CEO last summer. (Listen to a great interview with Nardini when she sat down with Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch here).
The NFL does not love Barstool, however. Last week they revoked Barstool’s Super Bowl media credentials. Why? Four Barstool Sports employees once organized a sit-in at the league offices to protest Roger Goodell’s handling of “Deflategate.” The league said it “doesn’t credential people who have been involved in such antics.” But Barstool isn’t letting up. They continue to openly hate on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and even sell anti-Goodell merch.