The Locked On Podcast Network is partnering with Entercom to distribute and sell advertising for its lineup of more than 160 podcasts, which are mainly focused on local sports teams. The move pairs Locked On with Entercom’s portfolio of 50 sports-formatted radio stations around the country.
The two companies will also develop new content, including co-produced and co-branded podcasts. Entercom will also leverage its radio portfolio to promote the podcasts.
As part of the partnership, Locked On’s podcasts will now be available on Entercom’s Radio.com, which the company says has 40 million monthly users.
The two companies will also develop new content including co-produced and co-branded podcasts. They will also create a daily sports news podcast featuring Entercom sports radio hosts and local experts from Locked On; and two weekly one-hour programs, produced by Locked On that will air on Entercom radio stations. Entercom will also leverage its radio portfolio to promote the podcasts.
Locked On Today is the first podcast of at least four new series that will be released in a co-production under the partnership. Hosted daily by Peter Bukowski, who currently hosts the Locked On Packers show, it is described as a fast-paced take on the biggest sports stories of the day. The companies say the show will go beyond the scoreboard and behind the scenes for insight and perspective from the local experts of the Locked On Podcast Network and Entercom sports radio stations.
David Locke, President and founder of Locked On, called the partnership a “monumental step” in the evolution of the podcast network. “Integrating Locked On's local experts with the powerful sports personalities of Entercom will lead to amazing content across the network and for our new daily national sports podcast,” he said in the announcement. “In addition, co-developing numerous shows with Radio.com and being supported by their massive regional and local sales staffs to monetize our popular local podcasts on their platform make this an incredible partnership for Locked On.”
In recent months Entercom has looked to leverage its sports radio portfolio, which includes stations branded as “The Fan” in New York, Dallas and Cleveland. It also inked a marketing alliance with the sports betting site FanDuel, and acquired the sports data and iGaming affiliate platform QL Gaming Group in November for $32 million which led to the launch of the BetQL Audio Network last month, which features sports betting programming across Entercom’s sports radio stations.
“We’re aggressively leveraging the value of our national dominance in sports programming and content in audio, digital and sports betting platforms and our agreement with Locked On reflects continued progress on this front,” said J.D. Crowley, Chief Digital Officer at Entercom. “We’re dedicated to delivering cutting edge sports content to our audience – whichever their favorite team may be – and look forward to partnering with the great team at Locked On,” he said in the announcement.
Locke, who is the Utah Jazz play-by-play announcer, launched the Locked On Podcast Network in 2016 with the Locked On Jazz podcast. But Locke’s background is in sports talk radio. He worked as a program director at sports “1320 The Fan” KFNZ Salt Lake City for several years. He then moved to Seattle to work at sports KJR (950) for eight years. While he was there, he also became the Seattle Sonics play-by-play voice. But when that gig ended, he returned to Salt Lake City to become the play-by-play announcer for the Utah Jazz NBA franchise.
The alliance comes on the heels of Locked On selling itself to Tegna last month, which will pair it with its Vault Studios. The television station owner said it also plans to integrate Locked On with its local television station teams.