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Jason and Travis Kelce's 'New Heights' podcast could be in line for $100 million deal, expert says

By Weston Blasi

Jason Kelce just retired from the NFL, having made more than $80 million playing for the Philadelphia Eagles

Pro Bowl offensive lineman Jason Kelce retired from the NFL on Monday after 13 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, but he will continue his burgeoning career as a podcaster.

Jason and his brother Travis Kelce's "New Heights" podcast, which launched in September 2022, has routinely appeared at No. 1 on various podcast charts on Apple (AAPL) and Spotify (SPOT), and is reportedly being shopped around to media brands, according to a report last week from Bloomberg News.

A new deal for the "New Heights" show could be a massive one, as the market for the top podcasters has been robust in recent years. Last month, Joe Rogan, the comedian and UFC commentator, renewed his deal with Spotify for an estimated $250 million, and the "SmartLess" podcast, hosted by actors Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and Will Arnett, moved from Amazon (AMZN) to SiriusXM (LSXMK) in a $100 million deal.

"Companies want Jason and Travis Kelce's podcast because of the deep relationship they have with their audiences," Eric Silver, head of development at Multitude, a podcast collective and ad-sales firm, told MarketWatch. "That's the most important thing in podcasting."

But with top podcasts drawing multimillion-dollar deals, what type of payout could the "New Heights" crew expect?

"I wouldn't be surprised if it was around the same as 'SmartLess.' I wouldn't be surprised if it was $100 million," Silver said, while comparing the current market for podcasters to a free-agency period or transfer window in sports.

The podcast industry has moved away from exclusivity in recent years. For example, popular shows like "The Joe Rogan Experience" and "Call Her Daddy" were once available exclusively for Spotify subscribers, but now they are available across multiple platforms.

Although deals vary across the industry, a company that would pay the Kelces for "New Heights" would be most interested in the advertising money, Silver explained. Essentially a company like Amazon (AMZN), or Spotify or iHeartMedia (IHRT) would pay a certain amount of money to the "New Heights" owners and in exchange would keep all or most of the money the show makes from its advertisements or future branding deals.

The podcast, which was already a big hit among football fans, saw a boost when Travis Kelce began dating pop-music superstar Taylor Swift last year, creating still more interest in, and listeners for, the show.

Companies that have an interest in paying for the rights to "New Heights" would likely want to see the Kelces invite Swift to appear on the show, something she hasn't done yet. "They can make that happen," Silver said.

Jason Kelce, 36, has made $81.7 million in salary during his 13-year NFL playing career, and Travis Kelce, 34, has made $76.9 million in salary over his 10-year career with the Kansas City Chiefs, with whom he hoisted a second straight Super Bowl trophy last month. Those numbers exclude sponsorship and podcast money.

Representatives for the Kelces did not respond immediately to MarketWatch's request for comment.

See also: Caitlin Clark is turning pro. Why she could make more money staying in college one more year.

The six-time All-Pro selection at center announced his retirement on Monday in a 45-minute press conference in which he thanked the City of Brotherly Love; his wife, Kylie; and former coach Andy Reid - who now coaches his brother on the Chiefs. Jason Kelce ended his career with 193 regular-season games played and one Super Bowl ring.

"It has always been a goal of mine to play my whole career in one city," Jason Kelce said. "I couldn't have dreamt a better one if I tried."

Read on: EA's upcoming college-football game 'taking advantage' of players with $600 payment, expert says

-Weston Blasi

This content was created by MarketWatch, which is operated by Dow Jones & Co. MarketWatch is published independently from Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal.


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03-06-24 0805ET

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