Looking to expand its presence in the fast-growing on demand audio space, the National Football League has signed and announced an exclusive multiyear podcast partnership with iHeartMedia that will create an NFL podcast network. The deal includes the distribution of seven series already launched by the league, as well as the co-production and distribution of two dozen new original podcasts.
“Podcasts are an increasingly important way to reach fans and a compelling way to tell NFL stories,” said Kevin LaForce, the NFL’s Senior VP Media Strategy and Business Development. “We look forward to partnering with iHeartMedia to bring the NFL Podcast Network to life and deliver our podcast content seamlessly to fans on their platform and anywhere podcasts are consumed,” he said in the announcement.
The new podcast slate will develop series based on the massive archives of NFL Films, levering that content to create podcasts focused on football’s history. Other new podcasts will give listeners “inside access” to the NFL. All new podcasts will be distributed through the iHeartPodcast Network under the exclusive alliance.
“Our partnership with the NFL is an incredible moment for iHeart – and the podcast industry, period,” said Conal Byrne, CEO of iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group. “The NFL represents sports at its highest level – with the greatest athletes and the most heart-pounding games the world has seen. These are legendary stories, and we can’t wait to roll out a slate of incredible new podcasts to capture it all – for iHeart’s huge audience and the NFL’s massive fanbase alike.”
The NFL’s existing slate of podcasts includes –
- Around the NFL. Hosted by Gregg Rosenthal, Dan Hanzus, and Marc Sessler, who break down the latest football news.
- Move the Sticks. Hosted by former NFL scouts Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks, they break down the latest news and action around the league from a scout’s perspective.
- NFL Fantasy Football Podcast. Hosted by Marcas Grant, Mike Florio, and Kimmi Chex, who provide detailed fantasy football analysis combining in-depth stats and film study to help listeners win their fantasy league.
- Huddle and Flow. Hosted by Steve Wyche and Jim Trotter, who call on their experiences as two Black men with 40-plus years combined covering the NFL to bring listeners unfiltered, enlightening, and entertaining conversations about important issues involving the league both on and off the field.
- NFL Total Access: The Locker Room. Former NFL head coach Brian Billick and fullback Michael Robinson provide unique stories and insights about the game of football and those who coach and play it. These two Super Bowl champions take listeners inside the locker room to learn what’s really going on in the NFL.
- Good Morning Football. Each morning Will Selva brings listeners the key NFL stories in a bite-sized daily podcast. It also features commentary from GMFB personalities Kay Adams, Nate Burleson, Peter Schrager, and Kyle Brandt.
- NFL Legends Podcast. The unscripted podcast series discussing the challenges and personal anecdotes of NFL Players. Hosted by Hall of Famer Aeneas Williams, topics include parenting, coaching, wellness and overcoming adversity.
In their joint announcement the NFL and iHeart said the first new original podcasts stemming from their partnership will begin production this summer, ahead of the 2021 NFL season.
“With these upcoming podcasts, fans will be able to experience the NFL in a new way through rich, deep-dive audio content on their favorite teams and exclusive commentary from their favorite players,” said John Sykes, President of Entertainment Enterprises at iHeartMedia.