Celebrity-founded production companies are on the rise. Tom Brady has one. Lebron James has one. Even President Barack Obama has one.
But the newest entrant might be the most interesting. Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions has arrived in a big way.
In just over two years, Omaha has grown into a formidable player in the world of sports media. It’s racked up popular shows and lucrative ad partnerships across traditional and streaming networks. And earlier this year, Peter Chernin’s company, North Road, invested in Omaha, valuing it at over $400 million dollars.
“I don’t see any reason why Omaha can’t be a $1 billion-plus company,” wrote Joe Pompliano, sports business expert and author of The Huddle newsletter. “Streaming services are acquiring unscripted sports content at a premium, and Omaha’s close relationship with ESPN provides them with a unique advantage.”
Omaha has something that most new companies do not – a hit show that drives consistent buzz and ratings, The ManningCast on ESPN2. Hosted by Peyton Manning and his brother Eli), the show is the most exciting innovation in sports television in many years. The Mannings are admired by athletes, sports leagues, and media organizations alike, giving them access to guests that would normally be reserved for Saturday Night Live. Behind the scenes, former ESPN VP and Fox Sports President Jamie Horowitz provides the creative to the show that keeps it relevant.
It’s impossible to know how big Omaha Productions can ultimately be, but if momentum is any indicator, the company is poised to bring Peyton Manning more success—and income—than his football career ever did.
Omaha’s Origins: Committing to Excellence
Omaha Productions was founded in 2020 after Josh Pyatt and Jamie Horowitz pitched Peyton Manning an idea for a new media production company that reflected his values. Both men brought impressive pedigree to the table — Jamie Horowitz was largely responsible for the rise of top sports media personalities like Stephen A. Smith, Shannon Sharpe, and Colin Cowherd, while Josh Pyatt had worked closely alongside LeBron James and Kobe Bryant to help them build their media companies.
At the time, Manning hadn’t fully focused on a new endeavor. After 18 seasons in the NFL and an entire life spent focusing almost solely on football, this was understandable. However, he maintained an open mind about the future. He wasn’t interested in being a coach or a general manager, although he would have had no shortage of potential suitors. He didn’t intend to sit back and enjoy a slow-paced retirement. He had done some television work, but only on a limited, part-time basis.
Manning was initially hesitant about the executives’ pitch, but Josh Pyatt and Jamie Horowitz assured him that he could lead a company that could help bring people together. Since that moment, Manning has been much more than just the face of Omaha Productions. He puts just as much effort into leading Omaha as he did leading the Colts and Broncos during his NFL Hall of Fame career. Manning appears in many of the programs and ads he produces, and he works behind the scenes with production teams.
For example, he spoke personally with each quarterback featured in Netflix’s docuseries Quarterback before the show began filming. He was also integral in getting the coaches and the NFL to allow behind-the-scenes access throughout the season.
To Peyton Manning, Omaha Productions is more than just a source of income—it’s his new team.
One of Omaha’s investors, Former News Corp. President Peter Chernin, put it this way:
“I would never underestimate the level of [Peyton’s] ambition,” he said. “He’s super impressive, incredibly smart, and incredibly focused. He is one of the most focused people I’ve ever been around.”
Jamie Horowitz: The Architect of Innovative Programming
Peyton Manning has the drive, the personality, and the expertise to make Omaha a success. But without captivating programming, those traits are not enough to build a billion-dollar company
That’s where Jamie Horowitz’s role matters most. Horowitz is known for reinventing sports media with talk programs like First Take, Undisputed, The HERD, and SportsNation. Over the past 20+ years, he’s led original content production at ESPN, Fox Sports, DAZN, the WWE, and more.
At Omaha Productions, Jamie Horowitz has proven that he still has the ability to create wildly compelling content. Shows he’s produced – including the ManningCast on ESPN, Quarterback on Netflix, and Eli’s Places on ESPN+— give fans real, raw, and unedited access to their favorite sports stars.
Jamie Horowitz has said that in this age of TikTok and YouTube, viewers crave real stories—not suits and studios. This approach has resulted in early success for Omaha Productions.
Changing the Game
Despite being less than 3 years old, Omaha Productions has built a deep bench of successful shows, web series, ad partnerships, and podcasts.
But more than that, its founders have shown that they are willing to do the hard work and take the necessary risks to not only compete but to innovate.
One of the things that Omaha partners Peyton Manning and Jamie Horowitz have in common, is a desire to serve sports fans in innovative ways. And that’s been a key to Omaha’s early success.
Just recently, Omaha Productions unveiled a new augmented reality table on ManningCast, completely reinventing the instant replay. Omaha conceptualized and commissioned the table, which took nearly a year to build. Only one exists in the world, and it’s in Peyton Manning’s garage.
These sorts of moves indicate that Omaha Productions is more than just another celebrity-founded production company. It’s a company with big dreams and high expectations. And it’s the most exciting company that has been created in a long time.