Anthem Sports & Entertainment – the company behind such cable TV networks as AXS TV and the Pursuit Channel as well as a variety of sports-focused content – may be about to make a jump into the podcast space. Anthem has struck a multi-year strategic partnership with iHeartMedia. The two companies will work together on co-producing original programming for Anthem properties, which will be backed by the marketing reach of iHeart’s broadcast and digital platform.
“Our new partnership with iHeartMedia gives us unprecedented access to its quarter of a billion monthly listeners, reaching 9 out of 10 Americans each month through its national network of local radio stations and its ubiquitous digital app, live events, podcasts and other properties,” Anthem CEO Len Asper said in the announcement. “Joining forces with iHeartMedia provides an invaluable opportunity to extend the reach of our brands, and to create unique and original content that serves our passionate communities.”
Partnering with iHeart is the latest alliance for Anthem as it looks to expand its reach. The company recently became an investor and strategic partner in PlayersTV, the sports lifestyle digital network being launched by Players Media Group.
Peter Volynsky, Executive VP of Corporate Development and Ventures for iHeartMedia, said the two companies’ collaboration will give iHeart “even more unique and compelling content” for its radio and digital audiences, while also helping Anthem build “further awareness and grow their brand through our massive scale and national reach across our powerful multi-platform assets.”
Last September Anthem acquired a majority interest in HDNet, parent of U.S. television networks AXS TV and HDNet Movies, and assumed operating management of the two channels, which cater to music, sports, entertainment and lifestyle audiences. The deal made Anthem partners with remaining shareholders Mark Cuban and Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), while bringing Steve Harvey Global into the company as an investor and advisor on content development. Steve Harvey Global also got a seat on Anthem’s board of directors. Harvey hosts one of iHeart subsidiary Premiere Networks’ most widely distributed morning radio shows.