Omaha Productions – Who Owns Omaha Productions?
Peyton Manning wears many hats — multimillionaire, two-time NFL champion, Hall of Famer, brand ambassador and half of the popular ManningCast with brother Eli. But the 46-year-old could be preparing for his ultimate role: NFL team owner.
His Omaha Productions company gained prominence last year when it produced an alternative telecast of ESPN’s Monday Night Football. The firm has since expanded to produce alternative telecasts for college football, golf and UFC.
The North Road Company
Founded in 2020, Omaha has established itself as a leader in non-fiction with projects like its NFL-licensed “ManningCast” alternative game telecasts and Rob Gronkowski’s “GronkCasts.” The company also produces interview and travelogue series for ESPN. Its branded content arm has worked with clients such as Caesars Sportsbook.
North Road Company aims to build a global, multi-genre studio with scripted film and TV productions in the US and international markets. Its portfolio includes Chernin Entertainment’s scripted film and TV business, led by Jenno Topping; the US assets of Red Arrow Studios, including Love Is Blind producer Kinetic Content and Connor Schell’s Words + Pictures; and an international division helmed by Jan Frouman and President of International TV Kristin Jones.
The new company has a slate of more than 80 projects in development, with a concentration in two growth areas: international programming and unscripted content. It is backed by Providence Equity Partners L.L.C and Apollo, through its managed affiliates.
Words + Pictures
Words + Pictures is a content studio focused on premium, culturally relevant nonfiction storytelling. Its mission is to create stories that bring the audience closer to the subjects they love and to explore the infinite possibilities of narrative nonfiction in a new age of content. It is part of the North Road Company, which launched last year with funding from Providence Equity and Apollo Global Management.
Words+Pictures already has a number of shows under its belt, including the ESPN series Peyton’s Places and The Manningcast. The company also produces a number of podcasts and a few projects for Amazon Prime Video. It recently teamed with Amazon Prime on a documentary and scripted film about the trainer of Kentucky Derby long shot Rich Strike.
Its ManningCast features an Augmented Reality Table that allows the NFL Hall of Famer to analyze plays in a way that combines digital AR renderings of players with his own commentary. The team is also working on a docuseries for Netflix about the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team and a project for HBO about motorsports driver Dan Wheldon.
When Peyton Manning retired from the NFL in 2016, he could have chosen to become a coach, or he could have turned his nearly $250 million in career earnings into a media empire. Instead, the Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback decided to pursue his passion for creating content and launched Omaha Productions.
The company produces several shows for ESPN, including the Emmy-award winning “Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli,” as well as alternative telecasts for college football, golf, UFC, and Formula 1. It also creates Netflix shows like Quarterback and King of Collectibles, as well as commercials for clients such as Caesars Entertainment.
The company also recently announced a deal to launch a podcast network, the Omaha Audio Network, with talent including Kenny Mayne and Rachel DeMita. In addition, it has a partnership with Verizon to use 5G technology to create new sports betting experiences.
Peter Chernin owns and operates The Chernin Group, an investment firm that focuses on investing in US technology and media companies. His portfolio includes Barstool Sports, FOOD52 and Crunchyroll. He also serves on the Boards of American Express, Twitter and Pandora. He is a co-founder of the global AIDS fund, Friends of the AIDS and TB Partnership and a trustee for Malaria No More UK.
Omaha Productions has already made a splash with its ManningCast alternative telecast of Monday Night Football and has applied the same model to college football, golf, UFC, and the NBA. In addition, it has produced ESPN+’s Places franchise with stars such as Mina Kimes, Cam Heyward, Sue Bird, and Abby Wambach.
The company has raised a significant amount of money. It received a $10 million investment from The North Road Company in May at a $400 million valuation. This investment is expected to propel the company to even greater heights in the future.