Where Barstool Went Wrong

March 6, 2019


Where Barstool Went Wrong

I enjoyed this back and forth between Barstool and this comedian. The cliff notes of insanity are:

  • Barstool used a video without permission and a comedian filed a DMCA copyright strike.
  • They tried to give her a $50 gift card to retract her DMCA copyright claim. She doesn’t respond for weeks.
  • Anxious to resolve the DMCA strike, Barstool starts sending many requests for response because if they get too many DMCA copyright strikes then their Twitter account gets suspended. They offered up to $2,000.
  • The comedian publicly outs the entire escapade.

Pres’s Response to the Situation

“Where Barstool went wrong is that when she refused to respond and it became clear she had no intention of speaking with us we should have ended it,” Barstool’s founder, Dave Portnoy, told Business Insider in an email. “Unfortunately Barstool Sports has idiots in our company much like many other companies and those idiots acted like idiots. I regret our lawyer offering a 50 dollar gift card to our store not because it’s illegal in any manner but it’s just so moronic and makes us look like assholes. That’s why lawyers should not be on social media.” – Dave Portnoy

What Went Wrong?

DeadSpins Take on Barstool

As Barstool has grown in popularity, it’s impossible to say that it has improved. This DMCA episode is a microcosm of what is happening with their “content” issue. Their main problem is that they are a regurgitation machine. They take information from other sites and replay it on their site. I can’t tell you how many stories I see on Reddit first and then are written about on Barstool. Which leads me to the second problem, their talent.

Their writers are not qualified to write. If you’re an 18 year old looking for some girls in bikini’s then maybe you might like Barstool. Seriously, though, if you’re coming to Barstool for this, you are a sheltered idiot. They have a few key employees who I like named Big Cat, PMT, Francis, and Pres. I think the Chicks in the Office are likable for what that’s worth. Everyone else does not earn their paycheck. Here’s a solution, hire talent!

The ads are obnoxious as well. Sponsored content all over the place. Then they try to get you do sign up for Barstool gold or whatever bullshit they are peddling. Other annoying issues are they pump merchandise in your face non stop. We get it. You’ll go broke without selling. Do it in a more subtle fashion. Plus the removal of the comment section was asinine. It was the best part of the site.

So I ask myself, “why do I visit?” I rarely click on their articles. I follow their Instagram account which I think is entertaining. I like the Pres and his pizza shtick. I don’t even listen to PMT, but I’m sure it’s the best part of what they have going for them. So I get some joy from what they produce, but that’s filtering out 95% of the noise.

When I see this copyright deal, it makes me laugh because they are falling into this sad pit of a corporate nightmare. They are a shell of their former self. I used to like Barstool Philly with Mo and Smitty. It felt like they were your representation of your city. Now Smitty is reduced to playing video games on Twitch.

Greed ruined it. Who agrees with this take that Barstool is going downhill?

One Comment
  1. Sam Stortz

    My trajectory as a fan goes against your general feeling. I never felt Barstool was worth visiting over the last 10 years, and I still don't go to their actual website ever. However, in the last two years I don't think I've missed an episode of PMT and some of the personalities have grown on me beyond the PMT guys. Their Instagram and Twitter is the same as any other funny content provider. I follow an Instagram called "drunk people doing things" and I see the same videos on both so often. I don't care much for the content. Mostly just PFT. He is an absolute gem. I don't feel bad for them in the DMCA dispute but I get a little irked at the sweeping claims that they're a racist misogynist company who is trash across the board. Deadspin doesn't come off looking great recently in their spat against Barstool.

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