The Volume, the podcast network that sports radio personality Colin Cowherd launched two years ago with iHeartMedia, is reportedly attracting investor interest. Front Office Sports quotes unnamed sources who say at least three private equity firms have approached Cowherd about taking a stake in the podcast startup or buying it outright.
“I’m not looking to sell it,” Cowherd told the New York Post’s The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast but confirmed that he has had conversations with “a couple of banks” and with the investment bank LionTree. “I feel very strongly about what we’re worth,” Cowherd said, “It’s over $100 million.”
The sports-focused The Volume offers a slate of podcasts including The Colin Cowherd Podcast, a Cowherd-hosted three-times-a-week show. It also features about 20 additional podcasts. The Volume reportedly has had 639,000,000 downloads since its launched.
If Cowherd were to do a deal, he would join a success of sports content creators that have cashed in on investor interest. Spotify paid $200 million to buy The Ringer from Bill Simmons in 2020. And earlier this year Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions – which broke into podcasting in June 2022 – was sold to Peter Chernin’s new content studio The North Road Company. Chernin was earlier an investor in Barstool Sports.
Cowherd not only jointly manages The Volume with iHeart, but in 2018 he teamed with iHeart’s Premiere Networks and Red Seat Ventures to launch The Herd Podcast Network. It includes The Herd with Colin Cowherd, the on-demand version of his daily syndicated Fox Sports Radio show.
During an appearance last year on Math & Magic, the podcast hosted by iHeart CEO Bob Pittman, Cowherd said the idea of launching a second network came during the pandemic’s early days when Premiere Networks President Julie Talbott came to him with research that showed, despite a shutdown of the sports world, ratings were holding strong. They realized that once sports returned, there was an opportunity to grow their share of the sports marketplace.
His pitch to iHeart was straightforward. “If I can own it, and create 2,000 hours a month of inventory, you can put ads on it, and we can share in revenue,” Cowherd said. “I'll be writing you checks, you won't be just writing me checks – and that's how it was born.”