TEGNA Buys a Sports Podcast Network


From Podcast Business Journal

The media company that owns such stations as WUSA-9 in Washington, D.C., and WTSP-10 in Tampa has acquired a podcast network focused on sports.

TEGNA has acquired Locked On Podcast Network, which produces daily shows for every team across the four major professional sports leagues, as well as more than 30 college sports programs.

TEGNA, formerly known as Gannett, already owns VAULT Studios, which produces podcasts.

“Local communities are at the heart of what we do, and nothing brings communities together like local sports,” said TEGNA President/CEO Dave Lougee. “That’s why we’re very pleased to welcome Locked On to TEGNA. We look forward to growing the Locked On network through collaboration with our local stations, including the potential for video simulcasts of shows, and further increasing distribution, engagement and monetization of these fan favorite podcasts.”

Locked On CEO David Locke added, “With local stations in many of America’s largest professional and college sports markets, joining the TEGNA family was a natural fit as we seek to grow our audience and expand our offerings. We’re excited to begin our next phase as we work with TEGNA on new innovations that will enhance our value with our loyal listeners and help us reach new sports fans across the country.”

Founded in 2016, Locked On produces 160 podcasts, providing in-depth coverage of every NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL team plus major college sports teams. Locked On publishes more than 600 podcast episodes each week, generating eight million listens a month. Its podcasts were downloaded more than 80 million times in 2020.

Locked On also produces industry-leading, league-wide daily podcasts for fantasy sports, sports betting, the NFL Draft and national shows featuring industry-renowned writers, reporters and insiders. Big 5 college conference experts deliver daily podcasts for college basketball and football fans for each major conference.

Locked On will continue to operate as a standalone business within TEGNA. Locke, who is also the radio voice of the Utah Jazz, COO Carl Weinstein and Locked On’s staff will join TEGNA as part of the transaction. It is expected that current contributors will continue to provide content to Locked On.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. TEGNA will finance the acquisition through available cash on hand, and the transaction is not expected to have a material impact on TEGNA’s 2021 financials or leverage.