Two of the top five podcasts on Podtrac’s latest ranker of the most listened-to shows are daily news shows. ESPN will test whether a similarly-styled sports podcast can score as big. ESPN confirms that it will launch The ESPN Daily podcast in early-October. Produced each weekday, ESPN says the show will become “appointment listening” for anyone interested in the world of sports.
“The show will be unlike anything now available in sports, anywhere, with stories, interviews and analysis that only ESPN can provide,” said Andy Tennant, ESPN senior coordinating producer who will run the team producing the new show. “Every day The ESPN Daily will take a deep dive into a specific event or issue in sports, using ESPN’s unmatched resources and deep roster of reporters, producers and commentators.” Tennant already oversees the Outside the Lines and E:60 podcasts.
ESPN’s podcast plan first became apparent earlier this week when, as Podcast News Daily reported, executives discussed the show on Twitter and the network posted the job opening as it looks for a host of the new show.
ESPN also released some updated statistics on how many listeners its shows are attracting. Based on Podtrac data, ESPN says it drew 5.8 million listeners in June. That was a 10% increase compared to a year earlier. And among podcast-only content—not repurposed ESPN Radio shows—the network says its audience was up 15% year-to-year. It credits increased listening to shows such as FiveThirtyEight: Politics, The Lowe Post and SVP & Russillo. ESPN also notes it was the sixth consecutive month of year-over-year growth.