Timberwolves podcasts see increase in listeners as team succeeds

Timberwolves podcasts see increase in listeners as team succeeds
Timberwolves podcasts see increase in listeners as team succeeds

MINNEAPOLIS — Timberwolves fans aren’t just hungry to see the team succeed, they’re craving content surrounding the team, and the voices of the Wolves community are happily riding this emotional wave with them.

It’s a great time to be a Timberwolves content creator, specifically podcasts. The content medium was barely in its infancy the last time the team was in the Western Conference finals.

The feeling is like sports talk radio over the decades. When your team’s winning, people want to listen to radio shows, bask in the joy, and get more analysis. Even when their teams lose, they’re looking for someone to share in the sadness and echo their pain. Podcasters are a huge part of that arena now.

Flagrant Howls of Skor North has been a Wolves podcast for nearly two years and its numbers have never been better. Co-host Phil Mackey said episodes at the beginning of the regular season averaged about 15,000 unique listeners and viewers across all platforms. Their live recap immediately after the Timberwolves win over the Denver Nuggets in game seven hit 50,000 unique listeners and viewers.

“When you give (basketball fans) a product that’s worth following and cheering for, you see what’s happening. And we’re just coming out of the ring leaders with microphones who happen to be stirring the drink of this community,” Mackey said.

Thousands were watching the Game 7 recap on YouTube, revealing in the victory. The video has more than 40,000 views, possibly the podcast’s highest view count of any video. Whether they’re die-hard fans who weathered the tough years or new fans joining the bandwagon, Mackey welcomes all of them. It reminds him of a huge season for the Minnesota Vikings in the late 1990s.

“If you’re in your mid-30s, late 30s, Randy Moss in 1998 hooked you. I feel like Anthony Edwards and this Timberwolves team are hooking new fans, a new generation of fans. And for better or worse, they’re going to be stuck riding or dying with this team for the next however many decades,” said Mackey.

From veterans in the podcast game to those on the comeup, there are plenty of new potential listeners to go around. The Boy Lynx Pod debuted at the beginning of the Timberwolves season. Anna Knutson and Anji Nyquist are the co-hosts. The duo put on X (formerly Twitter) sharing opinions and excitement about the Wolves. They decided to start a podcast about the team hosted by women, something they felt the space was missing.

They’re now 34 episodes in and up to 400 followers. Knutson said they feel like they’re creating their own unique community at the perfect time.

“We couldn’t have picked a better season. It’s really wild to think about,” she said. “Anji and I kind of joke all the time about what if we would have started this like two years ago? We would have had some duds. It would have just been tough out there, some heartbreak to talk about. But this season really has been just incredible.”

The Boy Lynx Pod drops its next episode on Friday. Flagrant Howls, which recently jumped to number seven on basketball podcasts charts, has a recap from Wednesday night’s game posted and will have another following Friday night’s game.

Jeff Wagner

Jeff Wagner joined the WCCO-TV team in November 2016 as a general assignment reporter, and now anchors WCCO’s Saturday evening newscasts. Although he’s new to Minnesota, he’s called the Midwest home his entire life.

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