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Meadowlark Media Secures $12.6 Million in Series A Funding

“Front Office Sports reported earlier this year that Meadowlark was seeking between $10-15 million of initial funding, with Wasserman Media Group and DraftKings both listed as potential targets.”

Brandon Contes

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Meadowlark Media has made plenty of news in recent months, as the company works to get off the ground. We’re still waiting for the new venture led by ex-ESPNers Dan Le Batard and John Skipper to ramp up its content catalog, and securing new funds might be a big step. 

Thursday afternoon, the company announced they’ve secured $12.6 million in a Series A funding round. The investments come from a group of participants that includes DraftKings, Snap Inc. chairman (and former Sony Pictures chief) Michael Lynton, EMJ Ventures, Verance Capital, Wasserman, Carmen Busquets and DAZN. 

“With the intense competition to retain audiences at established media and to attract customers to new streaming services, we and our investors see an exciting opportunity for Meadowlark to work with the industry’s best storytellers to add the highest quality sports-focused original programming to their existing entertainment offerings,” Skipper said in a press release. 

Front Office Sports reported earlier this year that Meadowlark was seeking between $10-15 million of initial funding, with Wasserman Media Group and DraftKings both listed as potential targets. Just a few weeks later, that funding has been realized in the amount of $12.6 million. 

Casey Wasserman, the chairman and CEO of Wasserman Media Group has a working relationship with Skipper, having met at various industry related events during his time as president of ESPN. Skipper also knows DraftKings CEO Jason Robins well, having brokered a deal with the sports betting operator to become ESPN’s official daily fantasy sports platform in 2015. A third investor, DAZN, operated with Skipper as their executive chairman for nearly three years. 

Meadowlark has already made significant hires since announcing their venture in January. They recently brought on Jemele Hill and Michael Schur as creative advisors and are in talks with Adam McKay for a similar role. The initial round of funding will be used on their first set of projects and the continued addition of key hires.

Sports Online

PodcastOne Expands Sports Offerings, Adds Nick Swisher, Bobby Portis and Chris Howard to Lineup

PodcastOne is growing its lineup of sports show offerings by adding podcasts from a World Series champion, NBA champion and a former NFL running back.

Jordan Bondurant

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PodcastOne

PodcastOne is growing its lineup of sports show offerings by adding podcasts from a World Series champion, NBA champion and a former NFL running back.

The company announced it has brought on Nick Swisher, Bobby Portis and Chris Howard to add to its already stacked slate of programming that includes shows from Robert Horry, Michael Irvin, Jay Cutler and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.

“With the growing PodcastOne sports vertical, we are producing and developing exclusive sports content shows from some of the most recognizable names in the game, adding to our diverse roster of original programming that advertisers and listeners won’t get from other networks,” said PodcastOne president Kit Gray. “Our sports hosted shows offer something for everyone, from the parquet floors of the world of basketball to the spectacle of the wrestling ring.”

Swisher, who will host The Nick Swisher Show, expressed his excitement at the opportunity to tell stories and interview stars from the world of sports and culture.

“My curiosity for the world around me from baseball to books, from coaches to community and from inspirational stories of triumph to seemingly insurmountable moments of failure knows no bounds,” Swisher said. “I’m amped to be sharing stories with fans and listeners, and I’m so excited to partner with PodcastOne to bring my podcast to life.”

Current Milwaukee Bucks forward Bobby Portis will roll out a weekly show called Keep It A Buck where he’ll offer an inside look at the week that was in the NBA while interviewing current and former players.

Howard’s show, Plugged In with Chris Howard, will take a look at some of the biggest headlines in the NFL and get to the bottom of those stories. He’ll also interview athletes and other stars from the world of entertainment to give listeners plenty of behind-the-scenes scoops.

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Sports Online

Amazon’s Thursday Night Football Ratings Up In Week 4

That figure represents growth from last week’s Steeler-Browns game which averaged 11.03 million viewers.

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Bengals-Dolphins
Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Amazon Prime Video is the first to tout its NFL success in Week 4 of the season. The week’s first game, the Thursday Night Football matchup between the Miami-Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals, averaged 11.7 million viewers.

That figure represents growth from last week’s Steeler-Browns game which averaged 11.03 million viewers. That number also represents a massive increase over last year’s Week 3 game from last year (Jaguars-Bengals) which averaged 8 million viewers. That game aired on the NFL Network.

Amazon also noted that the streaming service gathered 13.4 million viewers across all platforms for the Thursday night game.

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Sports Online

Julian Edelman Considers Himself A Pioneer

“I’ve been a football player since I was 8 years old, but I did have other interests. Now that I am done, I get to explore that.”

Ricky Keeler

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Since his playing days with the New England Patriots ended after the 2020 season, Julian Edelman has kept himself busy with his role on Inside the NFL and now co-hosting the Games with Names podcast with comedian Sam Morril. So, what was Edelman looking for with his post-football endeavors?

Edelman was a guest on the most-recent episode of the Half-Forgotten History podcast with Trey Wingo and he said that the vibe that Inside The NFL has with Phil Simms, James Brown, Brandon Marshall, Michael Irvin, and Ray Lewis was something that he was looking for.

“With Inside the NFL, I have those guys and there’s a camaraderie. We get to have that breaking bread and just locker room kind of vibe. On the podcast, it’s the same thing.”

The MVP of Super Bowl XLIII mentioned that the key to doing the things he does now in his post-career came from the way him and his team were able to use social media to build his own brand and help ease the transition from a playing career to a member of the media.

“When I retired, I was fortunate enough to put a good team around me for all of my off-the-field things. We built a brand through social media. Kind of pioneers of this whole thing with social and e-commerce and millennial/Gen-Z things. It helped me land a role on Inside the NFL and go and have an ability to start a podcast, Games With Names. It’s been good and it honestly helps with the transition.”

Now that Edelman’s playing days are in the past, he said that he now has the opportunity to do things that he was always interested in since he was a kid, but did not have the time for and he is grateful for the opportunities that the NFL has allowed him to have.

“I’ve been a football player since I was 8 years old, but I did have other interests. Now that I am done, I get to explore that. I am so grateful for football and for the game just because it has given me the opportunity to do things that are fun and amazing.”

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