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NBA Teams Up With iHeart To Take On Podcasting; First Show Expected This Fall.

The go-to podcast place for big sports leagues is shaping up to be iHeartMedia. After striking a deal to work with the NFL, iHeart has just revealed that it has scored a multiyear partnership with the NBA. Under the arrangement, iHeart and the NBA will coproduce more than 20 new series with the first set to debut this fall.

“We are excited to expand the league’s audio offerings to fans by teaming up with iHeartMedia to deliver NBA content and storytelling to the iHeartPodcast Network,” said David Denenberg, Senior VP of National & Local Network Partnerships at the NBA. “We look forward to reaching more fans with content about our teams, players and history through this partnership,” he said in the joint announcement.

Few details about the upcoming slate of NBA podcasts are being shared at the moment. But the two say the new shows will be produced using a wide variety of content from the NBA archives to tell the backstories of some of the greatest moments in sports history. Other podcasts will offer a mix of the latest league news, player commentary, and insider analysis.

“The NBA is one of the toughest leagues in the world. These are relentless athletes, with a grueling schedule, at the absolute height of their game,” said Kevin LeGrett, recently named President of iHeartMedia Sports. “Their stories are the stuff of legend and deserve mass-reach audiences and top-tier brand partners. iHeart alone can deliver that.”

Sports podcasts are a growing part of the iHeartPodcast Network. The company announced in April that it had signed an exclusive multiyear podcast partnership with the National Football League. 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.

Last week, iHeart said it struck up an alliance with Sports Illustrated that will see the co-production of at least eight new original podcasts while the iHeartPodcast Network will pick up distribution duties for Sports Illustrated’s existing podcasts. Two of the eight original podcasts are scheduled to launch by the first quarter of 2022. There are also mutual marketing and promotion commitments between the two companies for all joint projects.

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