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The Volume, podcast illustration art of Chad Millman

"The Volume," a sports podcast network from Colin Cowherd — the veteran sports talk radio host — has struck a comprehensive content deal with the Action Network, a subscription sports betting media company, executives tell Axios.

Why it matters: It's a rare talent partnership between two upstart media companies, both focused on sports. 

  • Cowherd, with a huge audience, brings casual sports consumers to Action Network.
  • Action Network, which has a hyper-loyal, niche following, brings a more serious sports-betting audience to Cowherd's podcast network.

Details: As part of the deal, The Action Network’s flagship podcast, "The Favorites," will relaunch as part of The Volume.

  • Chad Millman, the Chief Content Officer for Action Network, will continue to serve as host for the podcast. Millman will also appear weekly on The Colin Cowherd Podcast, which airs three-times-a-week, to discuss sports betting.
  • As part of the deal, The Volume will be able to use the Action Network app and editorial teams’ expertise to inform gambling conversations. Talent from the Action Network will contribute regularly to The Volume podcasts.

Catch up quick: Cowherd launched Volume Network earlier this year to capitalize on betting and creator-driven social media putting people with personalities at the forefront of sports commentary.

  • "In a strange way, this is an ideal time to start this," said Cowherd, noting the amount of talent that's now available thanks to pandemic-driven sports changes. "In my space, it's not the biggest athletes that resonate with the fans. They want raw, authentic people and real trust — people they can relate to."
  • Cowherd launched the network in conjunction with iHeartMedia, which manages the distribution and ad sales for The Volume's network of podcasts. FanDuel has signed on as lead sponsor for all podcasts within the network.
  • For now, the network includes 6 podcasts. Cowherd says he doesn't plan to grow the network much larger than that, in order to make sure the focus remains on quality.
  • The company currently has 8 full-time employees. In the short-term, he imagines the company will reach around 12-13 employees. In the next two years, he thinks it's possible it grows to 20 people, with about 10 podcasts in the network at most.

Be smart: The absence of live sports forced the entire sports industry to take betting more seriously. Today, sport betting is legal in more than two dozen states.

  • "Sports gambling is exploding and I want to be the audio platform right next to it," says Cowherd.
  • Speaking of Millman, Cowherd said, "I think he's the best in the space."

Go deeper

25 mins ago - World

Scoop: U.S. and Israel to hold strategic Iran talks on Tuesday

Jake Sullivan. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty

Top national security officials from the U.S. and Israel will convene virtually on Tuesday for a second round of strategic talks on Iran, three Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: The talks come two days after an explosion at an Iranian nuclear facility that experts consider a likely act of Israeli sabotage, and one day before the U.S. resumes indirect nuclear talks in Vienna over a return to the 2015 nuclear deal — a prospect that has raised anxiety levels in Jerusalem.

Updated 32 mins ago - Axios Twin Cities

Police: Officer who shot Daunte Wright accidentally pulled gun instead of taser

The officer who fatally shot a 20-year-old Black man outside Minneapolis Sunday appeared to have inadvertently pulled out her gun instead of a taser, police said.

Driving the news: "This appears to me, from what I viewed in the officer's reaction and distress immediately after, that this was an accidental discharge that resulted in the tragic death of Mr. Wright," Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon told reporters Monday.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: The warning signs of a longer pandemic — CDC director: Answer to Michigan COVID-19 surge is "to close things down."
  2. Vaccines: Former FDA chief offers reality check on vaccine passports.
  3. Economy: Jobs growth could be curbed by demands for higher wages.
  4. World: Facebook to push notifications about vaccine eligibility to 20 countries outside of the U.S. — Brits flock to pubs for first time in months as U.K. lockdown eases.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.