Picture of Shaka and Aviv Arnon against a backdrop with the blog post title ' Mid-Season Recap, looking back at the first six episodes of season 1.'

Sports Content Kings: Recapping the First Six Episodes

After debuting in October, 2022, Sports Content Kings has since climbed the charts, peaking at #79 on Chartable’s list of top tech podcasts in the United States. Hosted by Aviv and Shaka Arnon, WSC Sports’ Co-founder and CBDO, and VP of Business Development, respectively, the podcast features some of the leading names in sports and entertainment. As we take a short break for the summer, we thought we’d look back at some of the highlights from the first half of the season.

We kicked off with a dual premier. Episode one featured Pete Scott, VP of Emerging Media and Innovation at Warner Media, who spoke about the evolution of sports production and broadcasting since he got his start in the early 90s. He touched on some of the industry’s monumental shifts, including the recent emergence of tech giants Apple and Amazon onto the sports scene, and gave his insights as to what that might mean for rights holders and fans going forward. 

Episode two, featured YouTube TV’s Kathryn Cochrane, Group Product Manager, and head of the team focused on sports—and providing a best-in-class experience for fans. During the discussion, Kathryn broke down some of the things that her team is working on, including “Key Plays”, a unique feature exclusive to YouTube TV that allows fans to catch-up to the live broadcast by viewing only the most important action that’s already occurred. The feature, which was implemented in tandem with WSC Sports, recently won a Technical Emmy® Award, and is just one example of the larger work that YouTube TV is doing to build a flexible product that’s perfectly suited for the modern sports fan. 

Switching focus to the ever-elusive Gen Z audience, the season’s third episode featured the Co-founder and CEO of Overtime, Dan Porter, who turned what was a grassroots collection of social media channels into two professional leagues—Overtime Elite and OT7. Dan walked Shaka, Aviv, and the listeners through the evolution of the brand, and spoke about some of the things that he’s doing that have completely changed the professional sports industry—including paying young athletes six-figure salaries to play in his leagues, which also include mandatory academic studies, and courses around finances and NIL laws. 

As the NHL’s EVP of Business Development and Innovation for nearly two decades, episode four’s guest, Dave Lehanski, is a true industry vet. He spoke about the league’s groundbreaking puck and player tracking system, which has completely changed the way that players, fans, coaches, and even referees consume games. Moreover, Dave gave listeners a taste of the future, touching on a few things that hockey fans might see in the months and years ahead, including a potential foray into the metaverse, NHL-minted NFTs, incorporating AR, in-stadium replays, and more. 

Episode 5 featured another Head of Business Development and Innovation, this time from the worldwide leader in sports, ESPN. Mark Walker is a former engineer turned lawyer, currently tasked with creating new experiences for sports fans and keeping ESPN on the cutting-edge of developing new products. He spoke at length about some of the latest industry trends, including betting, AI, and VR, and how they might be incorporated into the broadcaster’s offering.  He also touched on the recent phenomenon of fans’ interests extending beyond their favorite hometown teams and players—which is changing the way fans consume sports and sports content. 

Concluding the first-half of season 1, Shaka and Aviv checked a box off of their bucket lists hosting rapper, actor, and CEO of the BIG3, Ice Cube. During the discussion, Cube spoke on his motivation to start the league, and some of the difficulties he had to overcome before setting things in motion. Now, as the league is about to go into its sixth inaugural season it’s about getting more eyes on the games. Part of that is recruiting top tier talent to come and play, and another aspect is trying things that are completely new. For example, instituting new and exciting rules like the four-point shot, and giving fans the ability to own a stake in their favorite teams via NFTs. It was an insightful, and entertaining way to cap-off the first six episodes. 

Now that we’ve reached halftime of season 1, we wanted to say thanks to all of the show’s guests so far, and more importantly, send a special shout out to everyone that’s been tuning in. If you want to catch episodes one through six, visit our podcast’s website or check it out on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.