The Premier League and the company behind Netflix’s hit series Drive to Survive ‘are set for talks in the coming days over a BRAND NEW behind-the-scenes project… but the show will need a decision from ALL 20 top-flight clubs’
- The Premier League was approached by the company behind Drive to Survive
- The Netflix series contributed to a huge increase in popularity for Formula One
- A documentary could increase the value of the league’s international TV rights
The production company behind Netflix’s smash hit Drive to Survive has approached the Premier League over a potential program following the division for the popular streaming platform.
Teams in the English top flight were alerted earlier this week, with talks set to open over a potential program, which it is hoped can bring the already unprecedented success that Drive to Survive has brought to Formula One.
Premier League clubs have already been the subject of behind-the-scenes documentaries in recent years for Amazon Prime’s All or Nothing series, first with Manchester City, and latterly north London rivals Tottenham and Arsenal.
The Premier League has been approached about a Drive to Survive style documentary series
Box-to-box – the production company for an Amazon documentary on Steven Gerrard titled Make us dream – are thought to have contacted clubs individually about the potential project.
Any project, though, would hinge on all 20 clubs coming to an agreement and deciding on the extent of access they are prepared to allow filming crews.
Neither the Premier League nor the production company have commented on the project, although conversations are now set to begin.
Netflix’s Formula One program has contributed to the sport’s massive increase in popularity
Netflix has enjoyed great success from targeting sports documentaries rather than more expensive live rights. After Drive To Survive was launched in the United States, TV ratings for Formula One increased by about 40%.
In fact the series has been attributed by managing director of Silverstone Stuart Pringle as a contributing factor for the vastly increased demand for tickets to the home of the British Grand Prix.
Viewing figures for Formula One have increased by 40% since the show’s launch
Brandon Riegg, Netflix’s head of unscripted programming and documentaries, told Bloomberg earlier this year that tennis, golf and F1 series helped the streaming giant ‘recruit people who’d never watched sports or never watched Formula One’.
Riegg also mentioned successful highlights programs for American football and basketball that have been running in the US for decades, saying: ‘How long has Inside the NFL been going on? Or Inside the NBA?. We’re trying to build that same virtuous cycle.’
Given that the Premier League has become one of the world’s leading sporting brands, with 3.2 billion viewers tuning in in 2019-20 alone, it is hard to believe that the purpose of a series would be to ensnare a new generation of fans.
But with the success of sporting documentaries in the USA, the potential to harness potential new markets would likely bring financial incentives to the 20 sides involved.
A documentary series, backed by the broadcasting power of Netflix could also serve to drive up the Premier League’s international broadcast rights value, which is thought to be the path of greatest growth potential for the division.
And with Netflix announcing a 200,000 decline in subscribers earlier this year, a project could serve to benefit both parties, as well as bring fans an unrivaled look at the inner workings of the league.
Several Premier League sides have been the subject of behind-the-scenes documentaries