UCP, a division of NBCUniversal Content Studios, has signed a multiyear, first-look deal with iHeartMedia to adapt its original podcasts for television, it was announced Thursday (Feb. 27). The deal, which was brokered by UTA on behalf of iHeartMedia, includes an option for UCP’s forthcoming podcast platform, UCP Audio, to develop and co-produce original podcast series with the iHeartPodcast Network.
“UCP was among the first studios to recognize that podcasting was a goldmine of new IP for the TV and film industry,” said iHeartPodcast Network president Conal Byrne in a statement. “What’s really special about this deal is that you have the biggest podcast network, with our team of expert podcast developers and producers who have been working in this medium for over 10 years honing the craft of audio storytelling, partnering with LA’s powerhouse production studio to now create and develop premium TV and film properties out of podcast IP.”
The iHeartPodcast Network is home to over 750 original podcasts that span multiple genres including business, sports, spirituality, technology, entertainment, family, comedy and true crime. These include The Ron Burgundy Podcast, Disgraceland, Chelsea Handler: Life will be the Death of Me, Noble Blood and Committed. The iHeartRadio app additionally distributes more than 280,000 shows.
“Partnering with iHeart to not only adapt some of their enviable and extensive podcast library to television but also expand the production and reach of UCP Audio originals is a giant leap in our platform building strategy,” added UCP president Dawn Olmstead. “We look forward to making waves in the podcast space this year and we are very excited to have iHeart joining us on our endeavor.”
Today’s announcement follows one last week by iHeartMedia and Flatiron Books, which unveiled a new publishing imprint, Stuff You Should Read: An iHeartBook, that will begin releasing a series of books based on the popular Stuff You Should Know informational podcasts. iHeart has been aggressively carving out a space in the rapidly-growing podcast sphere as of late, with the recent acquisition of Stuff Media (home of the Stuff You Should Know franchise and Atlanta Monster) and the launch of a new podcast network with Will Ferrell, among other developments. Its ongoing “Podcast, Meet Broadcast” initiative currently airs iHeart’s most popular podcasts on hundreds of iHeartMedia radio stations across the country.