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NBA Launching Podcast Partnership With iHeart

80 million people listen a podcast every week in the United States, up 17% from a year ago.

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: iHeartMedia

Podcasts have skyrocketed in popularity over the last decade, and the NBA is ready to officially get in the game. According to Bloomberg, the league entered into a podcasting agreement with iHeartMedia to produce a bevy of shows surrounding its greatest players and moments.

The league noted a vast treasure trove of audio files that have never seen the light of day and are ready to be utilized in more storytelling-based podcast mediums. The two partners are working together on the shows as iHeart handles the production, distribution, and advertising sales surrounding each project.

“We’ve been looking for the right partner to help bring our archives to life,” NBA Entertainment senior vice president David Denenberg said. “We have tons of audio footage that’s never seen the light of day.”

The league built a podcast companion for The Last Dance in 2020, but now they are diving headfirst into the medium. According to Bloomberg, around 80 million people listen to podcasts every week in the United States, up 17% from a year ago.

The site noted that iHeartMedia owns the popular How Stuff Works podcast and they have discussed using that format to explain the game to casual fans. NBA basketball is losing popularity on television after this season’s ratings slipped about 25% from 2019 figures.

“The NBA has an ability to drive culture beyond just sports in a way a lot of leagues are envious of,” CEO of iHeartMedia’s digital audio group Conal Byrne said. “We’ve had our eye on this league for a while to help it ramp up faster into podcasting.”

Sports Online

PodcastOne Expands Sports Offerings, Adds Nick Swisher, Bobby Portis and Chris Howard to Lineup

PodcastOne is growing its lineup of sports show offerings by adding podcasts from a World Series champion, NBA champion and a former NFL running back.

Jordan Bondurant

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PodcastOne

PodcastOne is growing its lineup of sports show offerings by adding podcasts from a World Series champion, NBA champion and a former NFL running back.

The company announced it has brought on Nick Swisher, Bobby Portis and Chris Howard to add to its already stacked slate of programming that includes shows from Robert Horry, Michael Irvin, Jay Cutler and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.

“With the growing PodcastOne sports vertical, we are producing and developing exclusive sports content shows from some of the most recognizable names in the game, adding to our diverse roster of original programming that advertisers and listeners won’t get from other networks,” said PodcastOne president Kit Gray. “Our sports hosted shows offer something for everyone, from the parquet floors of the world of basketball to the spectacle of the wrestling ring.”

Swisher, who will host The Nick Swisher Show, expressed his excitement at the opportunity to tell stories and interview stars from the world of sports and culture.

“My curiosity for the world around me from baseball to books, from coaches to community and from inspirational stories of triumph to seemingly insurmountable moments of failure knows no bounds,” Swisher said. “I’m amped to be sharing stories with fans and listeners, and I’m so excited to partner with PodcastOne to bring my podcast to life.”

Current Milwaukee Bucks forward Bobby Portis will roll out a weekly show called Keep It A Buck where he’ll offer an inside look at the week that was in the NBA while interviewing current and former players.

Howard’s show, Plugged In with Chris Howard, will take a look at some of the biggest headlines in the NFL and get to the bottom of those stories. He’ll also interview athletes and other stars from the world of entertainment to give listeners plenty of behind-the-scenes scoops.

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Sports Online

Amazon’s Thursday Night Football Ratings Up In Week 4

That figure represents growth from last week’s Steeler-Browns game which averaged 11.03 million viewers.

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Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Amazon Prime Video is the first to tout its NFL success in Week 4 of the season. The week’s first game, the Thursday Night Football matchup between the Miami-Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals, averaged 11.7 million viewers.

That figure represents growth from last week’s Steeler-Browns game which averaged 11.03 million viewers. That number also represents a massive increase over last year’s Week 3 game from last year (Jaguars-Bengals) which averaged 8 million viewers. That game aired on the NFL Network.

Amazon also noted that the streaming service gathered 13.4 million viewers across all platforms for the Thursday night game.

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Sports Online

Julian Edelman Considers Himself A Pioneer

“I’ve been a football player since I was 8 years old, but I did have other interests. Now that I am done, I get to explore that.”

Ricky Keeler

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Since his playing days with the New England Patriots ended after the 2020 season, Julian Edelman has kept himself busy with his role on Inside the NFL and now co-hosting the Games with Names podcast with comedian Sam Morril. So, what was Edelman looking for with his post-football endeavors?

Edelman was a guest on the most-recent episode of the Half-Forgotten History podcast with Trey Wingo and he said that the vibe that Inside The NFL has with Phil Simms, James Brown, Brandon Marshall, Michael Irvin, and Ray Lewis was something that he was looking for.

“With Inside the NFL, I have those guys and there’s a camaraderie. We get to have that breaking bread and just locker room kind of vibe. On the podcast, it’s the same thing.”

The MVP of Super Bowl XLIII mentioned that the key to doing the things he does now in his post-career came from the way him and his team were able to use social media to build his own brand and help ease the transition from a playing career to a member of the media.

“When I retired, I was fortunate enough to put a good team around me for all of my off-the-field things. We built a brand through social media. Kind of pioneers of this whole thing with social and e-commerce and millennial/Gen-Z things. It helped me land a role on Inside the NFL and go and have an ability to start a podcast, Games With Names. It’s been good and it honestly helps with the transition.”

Now that Edelman’s playing days are in the past, he said that he now has the opportunity to do things that he was always interested in since he was a kid, but did not have the time for and he is grateful for the opportunities that the NFL has allowed him to have.

“I’ve been a football player since I was 8 years old, but I did have other interests. Now that I am done, I get to explore that. I am so grateful for football and for the game just because it has given me the opportunity to do things that are fun and amazing.”

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