iHeartMedia launches sports podcast network with Micheal Smith

Inflection Network to feature pre-existing titles and new slate of originals

iHeartMedia has officially launched a new sports podcast network as a collaboration between iHeartPodcasts and multimedia company Inflection Point Entertainment, the company has announced. 

The newly-launched Inflection Network is a collaboration with veteran sports journalist Michael Smith and entertainment attorney Terrence Williams, co-founders of Inflection Point Entertainment. The sports network features existing titles such as football podcast Comeback Stories, which debuted its third season yesterday, and older productions with Smith such as his solo NBC sports podcast project My Main Man Michael Smith

“IN’s approach is guided by inspiring and transformative power-rich storytelling and authentic, entertaining and thought-provoking conversation," Smith said. "We want to elevate and empower creatives; amplify diverse voices and perspectives; and enlighten, entertain and engage our audience. At IN our mantra is, ‘Louder for the folks in the back!’“

Inflection Network is led by two-time Emmy award-winning sports media executive Charita Johnson who also produced and developed Smith’s His & Hers podcast. In addition to the existing content, Inflection Network will develop and produce a new slate of original audio content with iHeartPodcasts.

Upcoming titles include a new original fantasy football podcast titled Michael Smith presents … The Dynasty Exchange to kick off the 2023 football season, hosted by Dylan Egloff, Davis Nuaimi and Josh Walsh. Other original content from Inflection Network will include projects with sports personalities like professional fencer Ibtihaj Muhamma, world-champion hurdler and bobsledder LoLo Jones, and NFL veteran Spencer Paysinger.

“Standing up this portfolio of podcasts has been extremely rewarding,” said Johnson “I’ve been intentional about who and what deserves to be under the IN umbrella. The stories that we’re telling reflect the audience we wish to attract. I’m really proud that there’s something for everyone.”

As part of its strategic distribution and marketing partnership with iHeart, the Inflection Network plans to reach broader audiences. All podcasts within the network will be distributed by iHeartPodcasts, available on both the iHeartRadio app and other major podcast platforms. 

A number of podcast companies have made moves to expand their sports offerings recently, including Sport Social, which partnered with US-based sports podcast network Blue Wire and Australian-based broadcasting corporation ARN to expand to a global audience. Additionally, Wondery recently announced four new original sports podcasts to come out later this year and independent podcast production company Goalhanger announced the launch of its upcoming football chat-show The Rest is Football.