ViacomCBS Scales Audio Footprint to Fuel Fandom and Extend Iconic Franchises at IAB Podcast Upfront

May 13, 2021
By ViacomCBS Staff

New and expanded partnership with iHeartMedia for Nickelodeon-produced podcasts based on animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender and SpongeBob SquarePants

Over 20 podcasts to premiere in 2021, including all-new and returning favorites from Awesomeness, BET, CBS News, CBS Studios, CBS Sports, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, Noggin, MTV Entertainment Group, Paramount Network, and SHOWTIME® Sports

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NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- ViacomCBS today announced an expanded podcast footprint, featuring brand-new and returning hit series that build on beloved franchises and iconic IP from Awesomeness, BET, CBS News, CBS Studios, CBS Sports, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, Noggin, MTV Entertainment Group, Paramount Network and SHOWTIME Sports. This robust slate will super serve consumers across comedy, news, true crime, sports, kids, entertainment, and music, reinforcing the company’s strategy to create premium content and experiences for audiences worldwide.

Since unveiling the company’s unified podcast slate at the IAB’s Podcast Upfront in September 2020, ViacomCBS has seen a nearly 14% increase in downloads year-over-year and is on track to produce over 120 shows, including more than 20 podcast premieres, this year alone.

“ViacomCBS is thrilled to return to the Podcast Upfront following a year of remarkable momentum and growth in the digital audio space,” said Steve Raizes, Senior Vice President, ViacomCBS Podcasts. “Honoring the quality and value of the company’s world-renowned content, this enhanced podcast slate will offer an organic pipeline for advertising partners to reach diverse audiences in a premium environment at scale.”

ViacomCBS also introduced a new and expanded partnership with iHeartMedia, where Nickelodeon will exclusively create podcasts from two of the brand's most cherished franchises: Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra and SpongeBob SquarePants. Additionally, ViacomCBS announced BET’s podcasting initiatives, emphasizing the massive demand for content from leading Black creators and reflecting the tremendous relevance, influence, and popularity of Black culture across the general entertainment ecosystem. BET will develop podcasts that will serve as a natural extension of the brand’s concerted investment in digital content.

Podcast titles from the upcoming slate include:

CBS News

  • CBS Eye on Money with Jill Schlesinger host Jill Schlesinger, CFP®, tackles sometimes uncomfortable and even controversial money and investing issues without the financial jargon to get to the heart of what’s important for anyone to know. Jill takes listener phone calls and interviews informative and entertaining guests each week to uncover surprising insights and provide actionable information so listeners can make the most of their money from CBS News.
  • She Makes the Rules – a podcast about rule-makers, record-setters, and rebel women who’d rather boss up than back down. They do not back down, they’re never intimidated, they’re never afraid to speak truth to power. When something isn’t right, they take a stand. Join CBS News as we take a look at some of the key women that have been Rule-makers and Rule-breakers.
  • Risking it All – most of us don’t experience heart-stopping, adrenaline-pumping, high-stakes risks in our daily lives. But what if your job was all about taking those kinds of risks? That’s precisely what Dr. Sandra Magnus, a former NASA astronaut, and retired Navy Admiral James “Sandy” Winnefeld explore in their weekly podcast, Risking It All. Listen to conversations with professional risk-takers, including a deep-sea diver, a heart surgeon, an NFL quarterback, a secret agent, and more. Get a behind-the-scenes look at how these pros live life on the edge.

MTV Entertainment Group

  • Behind the Music (MTV) thelegendary series Behind the Music is expanding to audio with a companion podcast to the Paramount+ series, featuring career-spanning stories told by your favorite artists.
  • Beyond the Scenes from The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)host and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah correspondent Roy Wood Jr. gives listeners an inside look into how producers and writers of the Emmy®-winning series use comedy to tackle a variety of complex topics – from racial injustice to sex robots – and where these issues stand today. Beyond the Scenes features a rotating cast of The Daily Show correspondents including Ronny Chieng, Jordan Klepper, Michael Kosta, Desi Lydic, and Dulcé Sloan.
  • Wild ‘N Out (VH1) one of the most social series in the world, Wild ’N Out will continue to combine hip hop and improv comedy, but now for your ears.
  • Yellowstone (Paramount Network) – the most watched cable show of 2020 debuts a companion podcast that gives fans exclusive cast interviews and behind-the-scenes glimpse into the gritty, modern-West community and culture behind the megahit – Yellowstone.


  • Avatar: Braving the Elements (40 episodes, premieres Tuesday, June 22, 2021) enter the amazing world of Avatar through the official companion podcast from Nickelodeon. Join hosts Janet Varney (the voice of Korra) and Dante Basco (the voice of Prince Zuko) each week as they re-watch every episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender and break down key themes, notable battles, and behind-the-scenes trivia. Special guests from cast members to producers join them to explore elements of the Avatarverse, including the origins of the story and how Avatar was brought to life.
  • SpongeBob BingePants (40 episodes, premieres later this year) hosted by super-fans Frankie Grande (Henry Danger) and Hector Navarro (Geek & Sundry), the official SpongeBob SquarePants re-watch podcast dives down to Bikini Bottom for a recap of every episode, hilarious conversations, and never-before-heard secrets about everyone’s favorite optimistic sea sponge.

Other show updates include the recent launch of Fantasy Baseball Today in 5and a new sports-centric podcast from “SHOWTIME Basketball” is coming soon.

Renewed fan-favorites include: Twin My Heart The Podcastand Daily Reportfrom Awesomeness; My Life of Crimewith Erin Moriarty, The Debrief with Major Garrett, and The Takeout from CBS News; Star Trek: The Pod Directive from CBS Studios; All Things Covered with Patrick Petersonand Bryant McFadden, Nothing Personal with David Samson and Fantasy Football Today from CBS Sports; MTV’s Official Challenge Podcast from MTV and Catfish: The Podcastfrom MTV in partnership with Wondery; Meet the Alpha Beats from Noggin; and Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell from SHOWTIME in partnership with CBS Sports among others.

About ViacomCBS:

ViacomCBS (NASDAQ: VIAC; VIACA) is a leading global media and entertainment company that creates premium content and experiences for audiences worldwide. Driven by iconic consumer brands, its portfolio includes CBS, Showtime Networks, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, BET, Paramount+, Pluto TV and Simon & Schuster, among others. The company delivers the largest share of the U.S. television audience and boasts one of the industry’s most important and extensive libraries of TV and film titles. In addition to offering innovative streaming services and digital video products, ViacomCBS provides powerful capabilities in production, distribution and advertising solutions for partners on five continents.

For more information about ViacomCBS, please visit and follow @ViacomCBS on social platforms.


Media Contact:
Casey Moynagh,