Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to clarify details of our partnership with Box to Box Films.
Major League Soccer is partnering with British production company Box to Box Films to produce content and possibly documentaries about the league, MLS Deputy Commissioner Gary Stevenson told The Athletic.
While the collaboration is still in its early stages, content will likely air on MLS’ new broadcast partner, Apple TV, and may also air on the league’s websites, social channels and YouTube. MLS signed a 10-year, $2.5 billion media rights deal with Apple earlier this year.
Box to Box is the production company behind many other popular sports documentaries. Most notably, he produced each season of Netflix’s Drive to Survive, a popular series chronicling the Formula 1 car race. Most recently, he produced ‘Full Swing’ following his PGA tour of golf and ‘Break Point’. A similar series on the ATP and WTA tours of professional tennis.
A documentary on MLS similar to ‘Drive to Survive’ is possible and discussed, but the details have not been finalized.
The MLS Season Pass includes all regular and postseason matches in the league. The league also promises plenty of additional content, including weekly team he reports, player profiles, and analytics, but little in the way of longer, more in-depth storytelling.
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in a conversation with athletic This week, MLS Commissioner Don Garber emphasized the importance of the season pass when it comes to programming, especially for the league’s more ambitious teams. Also, while Box to Box is working on feature length, the team is responsible for regular weekly content.
“Every team has an opportunity to have their own ‘drive to survive’ and have the world’s biggest technology and most innovative consumer companies provide that platform,” said Garber. increase. “Think of what was so original and fascinating and what put F1 on the map in this country…This will be a test for our team. They need to provide some content as the purpose of MLS is to make sure they do what they need to do in a centralized way to support their efforts, but the really good teams are very innovative and We can create exciting, globally interesting content and ensure that it drives subscribers.”
Individual MLS clubs have been active in producing serialized content. In 2019, LAFC produced the aptly named “We are LAFC” that chronicled its first season. The Philadelphia Union is currently filming and releasing ‘Union Way’, which will follow his club through 2023. The first episode of the series was released last week on the season pass and on the club’s YouTube channel.
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“Before you think about growing subscribers, it’s about building relevance and connecting with your fans,” says Garber. “What was important to them? When we lived in a world where we had a relationship of local coverage and local broadcast, they would play games whenever they got the chance, based on the schedule that was given to us. And the content we were providing had to be on our website, and now Apple provides that platform.”
Globally, especially when it comes to football, serialized sports documentaries are becoming more common. Amazon’s ‘All or Nothing’ series has spent the season with Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal in the English Premier League, as well as many teams from various professional his sports. Other clubs such as Sunderland and Leeds United are working with other partners to showcase the season in documentary format.
Welsh side Wrexham AFC reach new audiences with FX’s ‘Welcome to Wrexham’. This is where club owners and his Hollywood A-listers Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds aim to lead his five-tier club to glory.
Many documentaries have varying levels of editorial independence, and details about arrangements between MLS and Box to Box are still lacking. It’s also unclear which clubs in the league will be featured in potential shows.
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(Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)