GamePlan Photo credit: ReachTV

There’s more original sports content heading to ReachTV, and it’s coming through a partnership with video and podcast network Bleav. ReachTV is a free advertising-supported streaming television (FAST) network distributed in 500,000 hotels and more than 2,500 airport screens across North America, which also powers live sports in flight and has a number of notable sports deals, including a deal with the NFL to show every game. Bleav has more than 400 shows with more than 700 hosts, including 150 professional athletes.

Those two companies are now coming together for a ReachTV original nationally-syndicated, locally-focused NFL preview show, The Game Plan. That will feature Bleav podcasters and notable former players in each market. Here’s more on that from a release:

ReachTV announced today they are producing and distributing a new NFL Preview series, The Game Plan, a nationally syndicated weekly series that will cover the NFL’s biggest news and game highlights. The series will be hosted by Courtney Fallon (former NFL Network and NFL Media Correspondent), at the ReachTV Studios in Miami.

Each week, Fallon will receive exclusive insight for upcoming games from a local perspective with regional news cut-ins from prominent BLEAV podcasters and former NFL players in each market. Former NFL players include NY Giants legend Carl Banks, New England Patriots Wide Receiver Chris Hogan, Denver Broncos Super Bowl Champion Chris Harris Jr, and Atlanta Falcons Fullback Ovie Mughelli.

The Game Plan is a co-production between ReachTV and BLEAV, a sports and entertainment production company and network. BLEAV’s success tapping into local fandom through its regional podcast network is what attracted ReachTV to order a series pilot earlier this year, which enabled the partners to collaborate on adapting Bleav’s regional podcast format into a nationally syndicated broadcast format.

This is an interesting idea, and it makes some sense for both sides. ReachTV has rights to every NFL game through their since-2021 deal with the league. And that’s important for them in terms of maximizing their airport and hotel screens, allowing them the ability to put games relevant to the area (or to a particular flight’s destination) on certain screens. But there are only so many live games, so shoulder programming also focused on those games has merit. Meanwhile, Bleav (led by former NFL Network executive Eric Weinberger) has this network of prominent people, including a known and talented host in Fallon and a variety of proven podcasters and ex-players that they can bring in. Here are some further quotes on it from a release:

“Bleav made perfect sense as a production partner because they understand regional sports the best, and podcasts are an incredible testing ground for development. We’re excited to innovate and try new things together.” -Lynnwood Bibbens, CEO & Founder, ReachTV

“We are thrilled to have this opportunity with Lynnwood and the ReachTV team. Through their vast distribution, Bleav gets to showcase all our amazing NFL team shows and talent in the regions the teams are from. With each show featuring a former great player for every team and top notch host for every city, this is the perfect partnership — every NFL team, covered everywhere.” -Eric Weinberger, President, Bleav

“I’m thrilled to help support ReachTV’s relationship with the NFL, and I am ecstatic to bring my energy and NFL knowledge back on camera. There’s so much creativity in our BLEAV network of local analysts and former players. It’s a unique show with a great twist.” -Courtney Fallon, Host, The Game Plan

There’s definitely some logic to the approach here, especially for two companies with local presences but national scale. We’ll see how this The Game Plan content winds up working out for both sides.

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.