Tegna, the media company largely known for owning 64 TV stations across the country, has added an interesting asset to its portfolio.
On Wednesday, Tegna announced that it was acquiring the Locked On podcast network, which is comprised of 160 podcasts covering pro and college sports. No terms were announced, though Locked On management will remain in place.
In quotes about the acquisition, Tegna and Locked On both touted the potential of using Tegna’s local networks to amplify the Locked On podcasts, including the possibility of video simulcasts.
“Local communities are at the heart of what we do, and nothing brings communities together like local sports. That’s why we’re very pleased to welcome Locked On to TEGNA,” said Dave Lougee, president and CEO, 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.”
“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,” said David Locke, CEO, Locked On. “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.”
This seems like a shrewd investment from Tegna, given Locked On’s overall potential for growth, though the overall fit under the Tegna umbrella remains to be seen.
Locally focused sports podcasts have been a popular target for investment in recent months and years. Last month, Blue Wire got a $5 million series A investment, months after a $1.2 million investment round highlighted by Baron Davis. Could they be next for an acquisition by a larger company?
Going back to Locked On, the timing of this is ideal for Tegna. Sure, the NFL season is almost wrapped, but the NHL and NBA seasons are in full swing, and MLB Spring Training is scheduled to start in a couple weeks. Those sports will provide plenty of substantial content for the network over the coming weeks and months, and Tegna’s expected integration of that content into their existing properties will only boost its reach by football season in the fall.