Barstool Sports Inks Deal with Rumble

Posted on: January 22, 2024, 12:41h. 

Last updated on: January 22, 2024, 04:22h.

Barstool Sports announced Monday that it’s teaming up with Rumble (NASDAQ: RUM), the right-leaning video-sharing platform.

Portnoy aborition
Barstool Sports founder David Portnoy. The company signed an agreement with Rumble. (Image: Wall Street Journal)

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but news of the agreement sent shares of Florida-based Rumble higher by more than 32% in volume, which is about seven times the daily average in midday trading. Rumble also provides cloud computing services via its Rumble Cloud segment.

“The partnership will provide Rumble users access to all Barstool Sports content on the platform, including live streams. Additionally, Barstool Sports will market and promote Rumble as their preferred video home,” according to a statement.

Barstool Sports will also become a client of Rumble Cloud.

Barstool, Rumble Have Synergies

Rumble frames itself as a “high-growth video platform and cloud services provider” that is endeavoring to restore freedom to the internet. In other words, the company wants to be free of the allegations of bias and censorship that have dogged some left-leaning, mainstream content platforms.

That mission is seen as controversial in the current environment of fractured political discourse and elevated vitriol. Controversy is something Barstool Sports founder David Portnoy doesn’t shy away from. Portnoy’s penchant for speaking his mind could be one sign the partnership between his company and Rumble is ideal.

Barstool Sports and Rumble wouldn’t likely have been able to partner when the former was controlled by Penn Entertainment (NASDAQ: PENN). Last August, the regional casino operator sold the sports and pop culture media property back to Portnoy for $1 after announcing plans to partner with ESPN on a new sports betting mobile application.

Portnoy acknowledged that transaction was probably for the best and that his proclivity for ruffling feathers and rarely holding back may have cost Penn sports wagering licenses in some states.

“I’m excited about Rumble’s commitment to sports and broadening audiences,” said Portnoy in the statement. “With the power of Barstool Sports, we are going to help Rumble be the top player in the video, cloud, and live streaming space.”

Barstool Looking for New CEO

Barstool Sports is back under Portnoy’s control, and he said he won’t be selling the company again, but there’s likely to be a search for new executive leadership at the firm.

Erika Ayers Badan resigned as chief executive officer (CEO) last week. She had been with the company since 2016 and oversaw its eventual marriage with Penn Entertainment. She oversaw exponential growth at Barstool while helping the company ink relationships with a slew of mainstream advertisers.

“There is no doubt @erika_ was the perfect and probably only fit for us. It’s been quite a run and we couldn’t have done it without her. She was everything I dreamed she’d be and more in a CEO,” said Portnoy in a post last week on X.