Shaq teaming with Better Collective’s Playmaker HQ on pod network

Shaquille O'Neal
Image: Shutterstock / Ron Adar

Big man Shaquille O’Neal is bringing the appropriately named “The Big Podcast Network” to content group Playmaker HQ.

The deal will utilize Playmaker’s production team as well as the talents of O’Neal, Inside the NBA host Adam Lefkoe, and others. Shaine Freeman of Playmaker HQ will produce.

The debut show will feature O’Neal and Lefkoe and will air hour-long episodes once a week throughout the rest of the NBA season. Lefkoe started with TNT’s Inside the NBA in 2020. O’Neal’s deal with TNT dates back to 2011.

“I’m excited to work with Playmaker, a creative partner with a unique production and distribution process, to create my own podcast network,” said O’Neal. “The Big Podcast Network will prioritize and uplift fresh and diverse voices that will expand the conversation beyond sports to include music, fashion, and entertainment.”

O’Neal started his own production company, Jersey Legends, a few years ago. The group won an Academy Award for its 2021 documentary short Queen of Basketball and also produced a four-part documentary series on O’Neal for HBO.

“From our first conversation, our visions were perfectly aligned, with both sides wanting to make a fun, creative, and authentic show, as well as wanting to build a full-service platform to help other athletes build their own successful content platforms,” added Playmaker HQ’s President and Chief Content Officer Brandon Harris. “Our audience already loves Shaq, and we can’t wait for them to get to know him even better through this platform. Even more importantly, we couldn’t be more excited to be a driving force behind even more athlete entrepreneurship success stories together with our new network.”

Meg affiliate Better Collective acquired Playmaker HQ earlier this year in a deal valued at $54 million. While PlaymakerHQ does do sports betting-specific content, the company is best known for collaborating with athletes like O’Neal and developing social and other forms of media around the player.