Is Barstool Sports the Best Sports Media Company Today?


Josiah Griego

Where do you get your sports info? Do you need more? Do you need something edgier? Barstool Sports provides all that and more. It differs dramatically from companies like ESPN. In fact, it was a nonacceptance from ESPN that formed the path to success for Barstool. 

There are moments in life when things may not go as planned, but they ultimately work out for the best. Back in 2017, it seemed that the Barstool show Pardon My Take was going to migrate to ESPN as a program called Barstool Van Talk, but ESPN canceled it after one episode. This cancellation ended all partnerships between Barstool and ESPN. According to Dave Portnoy, the president of Barstool Sports, “It turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to us.”  

Despite Portnoy’s assertion that ESPN does not actually depend on the implied politics of its on-air personalities, he admits that he is adept at spotting branding opportunities, which includes the ingrained narrative that the formerly irreverent network has fed its soul to the hounds of political correctness. 

ESPN has frequently been accused of being too accommodating to professional athletes and too liberal for its own benefit, as athletes have refused to stand for the national anthem, denounced the president, and protested against police brutality. A business that was once staunchly apolitical has nevertheless evolved into the scene of practically every political conflict under the sun. Barstool strays away from these political ways, strictly focusing on sports and pop culture.

Barstool is largely recognized for its lack of tolerance for political correctness and its open minded personality. In addition, Barstool has maintained a mainly apolitical demeanor.

An “Us vs. The World” mindset is relentlessly promoted by Barstool Sports. Barstool has swiftly accepted the moniker of “bad kid on the block” when contrasted to its rivals. Scandals and controversies within the company have brought an unusual but more interesting look into talking sports and pop culture. That is really a small portion of the unfavorable press that the corporation has received. Any other company would have to close its doors in response to such a backlash, but not Barstool Sports. Barstool has chosen to embrace the issue rather than ignore it. Barstool is “uncancellable,” as Portnoy has repeatedly stated.

Portnoy claims that “98 percent” of the writing on the website is simple to ignore because the authors don’t try to comprehend what he and his team comments on: “There’s a group of people who don’t like me. I’m used to it. Somebody said this to me the other day – the people who don’t like me, if I was walking across water, they would say it’s because I can’t swim. We are not for them. Turn the channel off. Don’t pay attention to me. I don’t care.” 

Barstool’s demographics are 73.64 percent men and 26.36 women women, and the majority of visitors are between the ages of 25 and 34, according to But Portnoy stated in an interview that he believes Barstool has a distinct advantage over rivals like ESPN because he is not looking for programming that will appeal to particular age groups. He also acknowledges that he does not possess the solutions to any issues. What is and isn’t a good concept will be left up to the audience, he maintains.

So, why should you choose to consume Barstool content as opposed to ESPN? How ESPN has fallen so far is simply amazing. I never believed any other platform could compete with SportsCenter when I was in seventh grade and watched it every morning. But years later, ESPN is struggling. It’s not only being defeated; Barstool, which at the moment has no broadcast contracts, is burying it. With half as many shows, Barstool generates more podcast views than ESPN, according to

More people in the United States listen to Barstool Sports’ 31 podcasts than listen to ESPN’s 62 podcasts, according to Sports Illustrated. Even if Barstool has its critics, that achievement is impressive given the infrastructure ESPN has in place for its podcasts. To be quite honest, I am unaware of any podcasts that ESPN even offers. I had to Google it. 

The majority of ESPN’s podcasts air on television, such as Get Up, Around the Horn, First Take, Daily Wager, and other such trash programs. It’s hardly surprising that those shows don’t draw the anticipated audience because they are terrible. ESPN and its sister networks have faced criticism for their programming decisions, biased reporting, conflicts of interest, and disputes with specific analysts and broadcasters throughout their existence. It’s not shocking that Barstool rules ESPN. It’s always enjoyable to listen to The Yak. I don’t like spitting out Chicklets, but I can see why it’s become so popular. 

It’s remarkable how awful ESPN has gotten over the years. They seem to have been exposed to the poor quality of the content they produce.

Barstool has content produced for a mass variety of different sports while ESPN focuses on certain sports and certain people. ESPN is criticized for devoting too much attention to LeBron James, Aaron Judge, football, and men’s college basketball, while Major League Baseball and the NHL receive too little. Other criticism has centered on carriage costs and problems with the export of ESPN material, as well as racial and ethnic concerns in ESPN’s many media platforms.

Many Santa Fe High School students enjoy Barstool Sports content. 

Joshua Graham, a senior, said, “Barstool is the very reason I enjoy sports so much. ESPN just doesn’t bring the same enthusiasm and entertainment quality that I love so much from Barstool.”

Daniel Rael, a senior, said, “Barstool Sports has been really impressive with their content. They never fail to keep sports fans up to date on what’s going on and they are just overall better than ESPN.” 

Charly Skelton, also a senior, said, “Barstool content for me is a fresh perspective on not only sports content, but in life as well. It strays away from the woke message that ESPN has been sending for years now. It’s not their fault – it’s Disney pushing their own narrative instead of focusing on sports. 

“Barstool and their employees aren’t afraid to speak their mind and have a debate instead of getting ‘canceled,’ “ Charly continued. “One person in particular is Barstool Sports’ founder Dave Portnoy. He speaks his mind and silences haters that say that he ‘hates women.’ He has also expanded Barstool from the New England area to around the world and created other branches, such as their own SportsBook.”