TuneIn partners with Bleav for new sports programming

Streaming audio platform TuneIn is adding hundreds of sports shows thanks to a new partnership with sports and entertainment production outlet Bleav, the companies announced on Wednesday.

The deal will see TuneIn offer around 500 sports and entertainment shows produced by Bleav (pronounced like “believe”) through various linear streams, with many of the shows hosted by current and former professional athletes. The programs will also be available for on-demand streaming, TuneIn and Bleav said.

Programs produced by Bleav include “Bleav in 49ers” hosted by Eric Davis, a former defensive back who was part of the legendary football team’s squad in the early 1990s.  Rahshaun Haylock, a sports reporter for KTLA (Channel 5) in Los Angeles, is Davis’ co-host on the show.

Other shows include “A Bite of the Big Apple,” a weekly program featuring sports reporters and broadcasters; a podcast focused on the culture of basketball called “94 & More” and a soon-to-launch program hosted by WNBA guard Aaliyah Dunham.

All told, Bleav promises to produce over 1,000 hours of original sports-related content each month, with programs and episodes covering the major professional and college sports leagues.

The deal comes as TuneIn looks to incorporate more sports-related content into its global streaming platform. In April, TuneIn announced it had extended an agreement with Major League Baseball to offer its premium subscribers play-by-play access to live baseball games. Similar deals have been made for live programming from the Premiere League and the National Football League.

Live events are just part of TuneIn’s overall strategy to reach sports fans: The company also believes on-demand audio, like the programs produced by Bleav, will give its platform added value for those who regularly tune in to sports radio.

“Podcasts are essential for modern sports fans,” Richard Stern, the chief executive of TuneIn, said in a statement. “It is how many stay informed, entertained and connected with their favorite teams or athletes, from anywhere in the world. This partnership with Bleav, layers on that extra depth of sports insight and access to make TuneIn the ideal location for the total sports audio experience.”

Bleav’s programming is immediately available for TuneIn’s listeners to stream via the TuneIn app for phones, tablets and smart TVs as well as through Amazon Alexa- and Google Assistant-enabled smart speakers. The shows are free to access and can be streamed on TuneIn anywhere in the world.