Barstool Sports is now part of the Peter Chernin-headed Chernin Group, a media and technology firm.
Chernin’s company bought 51 percent of the irreverent and sometimes controversial sports-bro viral website.
Peter Chernin was previously president of News Corp.
Barstool Sports boss and now-former majority owner David Portnoy, a.k.a. “El Presidente,” announced the transaction in an “emergency” press conference in Time Square today, which was apparently the culmination of six months of negotiations. See partially NSFW video clip below.
In the footage, the would-be media mogul declared that the new investor was necessary to take the website to the next level while continuing its dominance of the space as well as becoming a nationwide brand.
The New York City announcement by Barstool is a precursor to the Boston-based media startup consolidating all its operations (including most of its remote staff) in the Big Apple this year.
“Do I like Manhattan? No. Do I want to be in Manhattan? No. Do I like these people looking at me during this press conference? No. But it’s the right move,” quipped Portnoy on the video.
“Even though I’m not the majority owner of Barstool anymore I’m still 100% in charge of content. This was not my cash out moment. This was our best shot to literally take this thing to the moon. To swing for the fences,” Portnoy blogged this afternoon about the Chernin Group acquisition.
In a Periscope video, Portnoy valued the company at about $10 million to $15 million and that the Barstool crew hopes to be officially relocated in the Big Apple by May. He described himself as a “poor rich person” on Periscope as a result of the new ownership investment.
The actual dollar amount that Chernin poured into Barstool to take a majority stake has not been disclosed.
“Barstool Sports offers a mix of pugnacious sports blogging, recycled Internet ephemera, and scantily clad women to its audience, which are referred to as ‘stoolies,'” Beta Boston explained.
Back in May 2015, cops arrested Patriots superfan Portnoy and several of his wingmen outside the NFL Park Avenue headquarters in New York City for protesting the Tom Brady Deflategate investigation.
“Barstool Sports has made its mark among a young male-skewing demographic and a very engaged audience across all digital platforms. Its reach is attributed to its editorial tone, which aims to be similar to the way people speak while seated on literal barstools,” Variety noted.
Although the site has been accused of misogyny (most recently in a Sports Illustrated essay), a Chernin Group official asserted that “Barstool has 100 percent control of editorial; we’re never going to pressure them to do anything. Nothing to add beyond that,” Re/code reported. New staff will be added to bolster the business side of the house, however.
According to Fortune, the Barstool Sports transaction is a win-win for both sides.
“For Portnoy, the deal is a chance to significantly upgrade Barstool. Owing largely to its lack of outside investment, the company doesn’t currently employ anyone who has ever written a line of code, let alone formal product managers. Chernin will provide both capital and know-how…For Chernin Group, this is an opportunity to keep building out its digital footprint by partnering with unique content providers.
“‘This is one of the rare digital media companies with engagements analogous only to messaging apps and fantasy sports,’ [Chernin exec Mike] Kerns says. ‘The fact that they have that sort of engagement with their audience without any log-in is amazing.'”
[image via YouTube]