We love listening to a really good Sporting Podcast and such is the rich variety available that we have decided to share the best of what is out there in 2019.
Throughout the month we will publish one new podcast each day, a blend on domestic and the best of international, across a wide range of sports.
We want to hear from you and have done already in significant numbers, about the ones that you think are a great way to get deeper into the sport you love.
We will build a list of 20 through the month and will also go behind the scenes of the medium with interviews and features around those who are doing it best and changing the landscape of how we consume sport.
Who knows, we may even get to bring some of the best of what’s out there together as part of the Dublin Podcast festival which runs across the city later in the year.
Here are the first of our favourite Sport for Business Sporting Podcasts of 2019.
Off The Bench
Off the Ball’s Off The Bench Podcast looks into areas of Women’s sport that rarely make the main headlines and that makes it not only important but also a damn good listen.
The most recent edition dropped yesterday and includes an interview with Susan Moran, the only Irish woman so far to have played in the Women’s NBA.
Host Cliona Foley is one of the most knowledgable journalists working in the game at present and so far this year she has turned the microphone towards Squash and rowing as well as the more mainstream pursuits of Rugby and Gaelic Games.
It’s always worth a listen though it would be better still if we could get it onto a weekly or certainly a fortnightly basis so it becomes part of the main diet of listening rather than an occasional treat. Still, seven episodes so far in 2019 have all been winners and there is plenty more to come as well.
Colm Parkinson is another graduate of the Off The Ball sports journalism academy and the driving character behind Sports Joe’s GAA Hour.
Never mind that it rarely if ever lands on the hour, the show does give in-depth analysis but with a lot of quirkiness thrown in as well.
This week’s preview of the All Ireland Hurling Championship is a case in point with Parkinson, retired Dublin hurler Michael Carton and former Laois Manager Cheddar Plunkett covering everything from pints in Kilkenny to whether it is right to stay at home the night before a match or overnight closer to the venue.
There is a lengthy and detailed interview with Noel McGrath ahead of Tipperary’s game against Cork and that follows up a session recorded with Joe Canning from the previous week.
“Wooly” is a natural on the microphone and brings the best out of his guests. Not the career that might have been expected following on from a seven-year spell as an accountant before a return to DCU to study journalism as his inter-county career began to wind down.
If you are not familiar with the opening lines of crackling commentary from the Second Captains podcast then this is possibly not the medium for you.
Second Captains is the benchmark against which stand alone sporting podcasts need to be judged. It has partnered in the past with the Irish Times and has developed spin out media including an annual in time for the Christmas book market, live shows and a TV version on RTÉ.
It has also developed a business model for paid content with the Second Captains World service. The main weekly show on a Monday is free to download but an additional up to five shows each week can be accessed for €5 a month. It is among the most popular downloads on iTunes in Ireland and on the paid Patreon service around the world.
The team of Eoin McDevitt, Ken Early, Mark Horgan, Ciarán Murphy and Simon Hick originally worked together at Off The Ball on Newstalk before striking out on their own in 2013. 1,461 episodes on and they are still going strong.
Rugby on Off The Ball
Off the Ball on Newstalk changed the way in which debate on sporting matters was conducted in Ireland. The idea of a nightly three hour discussion about what had happened or was likely to must have seemed like a crazy idea when it was first mooted but time has proven it to be the winner it is and the Off The Ball Team are also to the fore when it comes to packaging content up into the on-demand world of Podcasts.
In Rugby they have a significant advantage through a call on the experience of two of Ireland’s most famous players of recent times Brian O’Driscoll and Ronan O’Gara, as well as Johnny Sexton from the current crop and the familiar tomes of Joe Molloy who has crossed over from his origins on radio to become the voice and face of the Guinness Six Nations on Virgin Media.
Off The Ball’s podcast output is prodigious and there will be a busy week to follow up on Ireland’s provinces first in the Heineken Cup Final next weekend then for two weekends of Guinness PRO14 games.
An understanding of the issues that will make the difference for Leinster, Munster and Ulster as the club season reaches its conclusion is guaranteed before a summer and Autumn of talking up our chances for the Rugby World Cup.
The Two Johnnies
Could this be the perfect mix of Irish sport and entertainment? The 2 Johnnies Podcast came to life when Johnny O’Brien and Johnny McMahon were asked if they’d compare the local ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ fundraiser at Cahir GAA Club.
O’Brien had been following in the family tradition of making hurleys from a workshop in the town. I still have an O’Brien hurl which I take to training the kids during the week. It’s a fine hurl but that craft’s loss has been our collective gain with the 2 Johnnies storming to success with the weekly podcast that regularly sits atop the Irish charts, a sold-out tour that concluded only last week in Carrick on Shannon and which is now heading overseas and a social media empire.
It’s a funny take on whatever catches the lads eye, always against a backdrop of club and county hurling with a mix of pretty much every other element of Irish life.
The weekly episode generally runs to between 60 and 90 minutes and we have yet to hear one that didn’t create a laugh out loud moment or three.
The Final Furlong
With Punchestown in full swing, it’s appropriate to highlight one of the best horse racing podcasts that are out there. The Final Furlong is produced by At The Races but has a strong Irish flavour with main hosts Emmet Kennedy and Kevin Blake bringing the sport to life.
Blake is a breeder and works closely with trainer Joseph O’Brien in terms of planning campaigns for his horses so this is a real insider view.
Kennedy is a good broadcaster, adding a fair dose of humour to his intelligent and heartfelt analysis of the big race days and the smaller ones.
They have a strong social media following and while the regular ‘drops’ – three in the last week – can run from around an hour to a little over two hours they rattle along at a racing pace and are a great place to get you in the know for the major racing events.
The Greatest League in the World
You have to be bold to stand out and when the FAI bumped up promotion of the SSE Airtricity League of Ireland they chose to make a statement that might be more hyperbole than actual fact but sums up the spirit of fans and the clubs at their best.
The Greatest League in the World Podcast was part of that and is now deep into it’s second season with over 50 episodes launched and live.
It has regular hosts Con Murphy and Conan Byrne bring a blend of broadcast experience from many years in mainstream media mixed in with the reality of playing week in, week out for Shelbourne FC.
The format is a familiar one for League based podcasts giving a review of the most recent round of games followed by a deep dive interview with personalities from within the sport.
The most recent episode features League legend Pat Byrne and brings in the fact that he once played in the US for Philadelphia Furey when they were owned by the Rolling Stones. It’s kind of hard to work that into a regular preview of a Shamrock Rovers game but that’s the beauty of the sometimes sideways look they can offer.
The Greatest League in the World is published every Monday during the season with occasional bonus episodes and generally runs to about one hour in length.
Which podcasts do you think should be on our list for 2019?
There are only so many hours in a week, 168 to be precise, and we cannot listen to every sporting podcast so we need your help in nominatiing those that you think are worth highlighting.
Simply email us quoting Sporting Podcasts in the subject line with a short note on why you like what you like and why you think they deserve recognition.
Watch out over the coming month on Sport for Business for more content based around the world of podcasting.