Hot takes, Cool Thrones, and The Rise of Parody Podcasts

Barstool Sports released their first podcast titled “Pardon My Take” in February of 2016. With over 420 podcasts, and a new, one and a half hour, episode being released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, it is clear that the show’s hosts “Big Cat” and “PFT Commenter” are doing something right. In an interview with GQ, PFT describes their podcast as,

“A comedy show that uses sports as a vehicle to get a point across. For anyone who’s watched First Take for way too long or woken up to the 7th repeat episode of SportsCenter in the morning, and find yourself being like, “What the hell are these takes that these people are saying?”

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Between high profile guest interviews and a selection of their most popular segments, with titles like “Fantasy Fuckbois”, “Kevin Durant is a Baby Back Bitch?” and “Fastest Two Minutes in Sports”, the hosts manage to subtly promote their main financier and parent company, Barstool Sports, and outspokenly advertise their sponsors. The vast majority of the sponsors will take a code, given by the host(s) for a discount, membership, or contest entry. MeUndies, Cash App, Draft Kings, Dollar Shave Club, Seat Geek, and Bud Light are the show’s main sponsors, and for a good reason. The show’s audience is mainly men aged 18-30 with a general interest in professional sports. These sponsors have not only put them selves in front of their target audience, but teamed with “average guys” on a platform that feels more personal than a mass produces commercial. 

The best part of the podcast doesn’t lie in smart marketing or the seamless integration of facts and comedy, but how the hosts take fan’s criticism, adapt to their wants, and the changing social landscape. This attitude has distinguished them from their largely controversial parent company. The sports blog, Awful Announcing, stated,

“Pardon My Take” has largely stayed away from Barstool’s underbelly and become not only a popular podcast, but also a respected one. Pro athletes such as Danny Woodhead, Chris Long and Blake Griffin are frequent guests and fans of the show themselves. And mainstream media regulars on the podcast include Van Pelt, Mike Florio, Joe Buck and Rachel Nichols”

This podcast is breakdown not only the barriers of the medium, but also the expectations  of fans, players, and the industry.

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