Gary Lineker Scores Big with Podcasts as Football and Elections create a Hattrick of Earnings

Gary Lineker Scores Big with Podcasts as Football and Elections create a Hattrick of Earnings
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Goalhanger Productions, co-owned by Lineker, is thriving with hits like The Rest is Politics, especially amidst UK and US election buzz.

Despite England’s lacklustre start to Euro 2024, the tournament has proven lucrative for the team’s former captain, Gary Lineker.

Analysis from media specialists have revealed that the BBC pundit has earned over £125,000 from his podcast, The Rest is Football, since England’s opening game against Serbia.

The podcast, which also features former footballers Alan Shearer and Micah Richards, has seen a surge in downloads following their critical commentary on Gareth Southgate’s squad. During the BBC’s coverage of England’s 1-1 draw with Denmark, Lineker was particularly scathing, and he continued his critique on his podcast, describing the team’s performance as “sh*t.” This prompted a rebuttal from England captain Harry Kane, who argued that ex-players like Lineker and Shearer should moderate their criticism due to their own roles in England’s trophy drought.

Lineker and Shearer defended their positions on their podcast, which resulted in a record 530,000 views on YouTube. However, Lineker’s growing commercial success has caused some consternation within the BBC. Critics within the corporation argue that Lineker’s dual role as a BBC presenter and podcast host creates a conflict of interest, especially after he was seen wearing a brand-endorsed green T-shirt during England’s opening match, violating BBC policy.

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An insider at the BBC commented, “Ordinary staff are well aware of the bar on using the BBC for self-promotion or commercial gain. There’s a belief that Lineker receives special treatment, which many find unfair.”

However, not everyone at the BBC shares this sentiment. A senior figure stated, “There’s no unrest here. The media just enjoys targeting Lineker because of his outspoken nature. He adheres to the rules for commercial activity—mostly.”

Lineker’s commercial activities have also ruffled feathers among rival sports producers. A competitor expressed surprise at how Lineker’s business interests have thrived due to his BBC platform, noting, “The horse has bolted with all the commercial work the talent are doing. It’s surprising how they’re getting away with it.”

Harry Lineker, Gary’s son and producer of The Rest is Football, reported a 62% increase in downloads since the Euros began, with YouTube views up by 83%. The podcast’s revenue is divided between Lineker, Shearer, Richards, and Goalhanger Podcasts, the production company co-owned by Lineker and Tony Pastor, former ITV head of sport.

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Goalhanger Podcasts also produces popular shows like The Rest is Politics and The Rest is History. The Rest is Politics, in particular, is experiencing a surge in popularity due to the impending elections in the UK and the US. Collectively, Goalhanger’s podcasts achieve nearly 40 million downloads monthly.

Financially, Goalhanger’s success is significant. The company’s last published accounts showed a tripling of its capital and reserves to £591,000 as of May last year. Industry insiders indicate that podcast advertising rates are high, with presenters’ spoken promotions earning £45 per 1,000 listens, and standard adverts fetching £15 per 1,000 listens.

Recently, Lineker used his football podcast to promote brands like Hellmann’s, Disney, and EE. Tony Pastor confirmed the show’s success since the Euros began, noting that the presenters are well compensated.

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This commercial triumph has spurred speculation about a potential sale of Goalhanger to investors, which could yield a substantial payout for Lineker and his partners. Reports suggest that Jeff Zucker, former CNN chief executive and current head of RedBird, may be interested, although Pastor denied any direct contact with Zucker during a BBC Media Show interview earlier this month.

With a net worth estimated at £30 million, Lineker is financially secure, but the success of his podcast ventures continues to elevate his profile in the business and sports broadcasting realms.

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Gary Lineker Scores Big with Podcasts as Football and Elections create a Hattrick of Earnings

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