Dan Le Batard created negative waves for ESPN last week by violating their no-politics policy. This has led to many speculating on what his future at the network could be, if there is one at all. While he just signed a new contract and there has been no indication he will leave, Michael McCarthy has reported there are those around the industry already linking Le Batard to DAZN. Should he find himself in media free agency, here’s a breakdown of the potential market for Le Batard.
DAZN is the most popular destination in large part due to John Skipper. Skipper, who is now running things over at DAZN, was not only Le Batard’s former boss at ESPN, but a close friend of his. DAZN is as aggressive as anyone right now and is a name that pops up every time someone new in media becomes available. It would seem, though, that if Le Batard joined the streaming service, it would not be exclusively. DAZN makes more sense as a simulcast of a radio show or podcast for Le Batard. These are the two areas he has the most value in.
Perhaps they could work out a deal with SiriusXM, where his radio show airs across their airwaves but can be seen via DAZN. Le Batard had talks with SiriusXM last year when his deal with ESPN was set to expire. SiriusXM could even give him his own channel as they have done with Chris Russo, Dan Patrick, and Barstool Sports.
Now, this scenario does still raise questions regarding the podcast. Le Batard’s radio podcast is highly-downloaded and it would be surprising to see either premium service continuing the practice of making it available for free each day after the show concludes.
While the money isn’t apples to apples, Le Batard would likely bring more digital listeners with him from ESPN than terrestrial radio, which makes him a fit for really any podcast platform. The Ringer would be fascinating, but could they afford him? Bill Simmons’ brainchild would be best suited for airing what aired live on DAZN a few hours later. Westwood One, Spotify, and iHeart also come to mind. A Le Batard-fronted radio show would be a major boost to iHeart’s Fox Sports Radio, but they, at the moment, have no open time slot and likely wouldn’t mess with their popular lineup of Clay Travis, Patrick, and Colin Cowherd.
As most fans of the Dan Le Batard Show know, those around Le Batard make him much better. Not having Stugotz or his producers with him would decrease his value. This wouldn’t be Cowherd taking The Herd to Fox, or Patrick leaving ESPN. But again, if and only if he became a media free agent, Le Batard would have no shortage of options post-ESPN.