Dave Portnoy Puts Probability MLB Will Partner With Barstool Sports at '10 Percent'

Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy is speaking out about reports of talks of his network and Major League Baseball for a distribution deal to air MLB games.

On Wednesday, Portnoy spoke on WEEI's The Greg Hill Show in Boston regarding the distribution deal which Portnoy believes is unlikely to take place due to MLB's reluctance as a conservative league and traditional fans' disdain for the potential deal with Barstool Sports.

"Barstool is a lightning rod for so many people. I've never totally understood it," Portnoy told Hill. "Especially in today's world, there's tons of people who love us and I'd say there is a small vocal minority that despises us."

Portnoy said that the likelihood of the deal taking place sits at "10 percent."

"If I had to put a number on it, I'd say 10 percent," Portnoy stated, adding that he'd love to strike a deal with the MLB. "I'd be stunned if it still happens, because Major League Baseball, who's traditionally conservative, would have to be like, Yep, we know we're going to get some complaints, but we're OK with it."

Dave Portnoy
David Portnoy, founder of Barstool Sports, speaks during a radio broadcast prior to Super Bowl LIV on January 30, 2020 in Miami Beach, Florida. Portnoy is speaking out regarding talks of his network and Major League Baseball striking a distribution deal to air Major League Baseball games. Getty Images

Portnoy ended by discussing how the details of the potential deal being leaked to various media outlets influenced alleged sports non-fans to voice their opinions about Barstool Sports.

"Even when that [the deal] leaked out, Hey, Barstool might cover Major League Baseball, the people who don't like us, who probably 99 percent of them don't watch sports anyway, went absolutely bananas," Portnoy added. "I think there's a chance, but there's still a long way to go."

"My guess is, somebody wanted to leak a weather balloon and be like, Alright, how much backlash are we going to get from the same group who whenever we do anything, is basically like, these guys stink," he added.

As Portnoy alluded to, the MLB indeed received a slew of backlash across social media once the potential deal was leaked. Initially, Portnoy said on Twitter that he was in talks with "four major sports," but didn't mention which league he was referring to.

ESPN MLB Writer Joon Lee criticized the MLB over a potential partnership with Barstool Sports.

"Choosing to partner with Barstool is a business decision that will actively push away some of the fastest-growing fan groups watching baseball," Lee wrote on Twitter.

"During the 2020 season, MLB saw an 83 percent increase in TV ratings among women watching baseball," Lee continued. "Internal data from MLB — according to sources — shows women being one of the fastest-growing groups of MLB fans."

While some disagree with the deal, due to Portnoy's history of misogynistic and racist jokes, some feel as if it will help the MLB as the league has struggled with attracting a younger demographic for a number of years.

Newsweek has reached out to MLB for further comments.