There may be a lot more cameras circling the campus of the University of Alabama in the coming years as it was reported today by ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura, that HBO is in negotiations for a weekly behind-the-scenes show for college football teams for the upcoming season.
It was also reported that HBO was discussing this show with Arizona, Penn State and Washington State along with the crimson tide.
Basically “Hard Knocks” but with college teams.
“Hard Knocks” is currently following the Oakland Raiders as the silver and black are headlining the immensely popular show’s 14th season. HBO has been at the forefront of this type of sports coverage since 2001 and is now looking to become even more of a titan.
But this isn’t the first time a streaming service has attempted this type of show.
Showtime had a three-season run where they went behind the scenes with Notre Dame, Navy and Florida State from 2015-17. Michigan was also featured on the Amazon show “All or Nothing” but that particular program doesn’t specifically stick to the college level.
So would a college version of the popular show work?
I don’t see why not.
Obviously, HBO does their NFL version very well but Netflix also does a great job at the high school level with the popular show “Last Chance U” so why can’t it work at the college level.
In fact, ESPN has done two documentary type series with UA called “Training Days: Rolling with the Alabama Crimson Tide”, so it isn’t like head coach Nick Saban isn’t used to allowing this kind of access.
The only part which would make the head coach or athletic department hesitant is HBO’s willingness to not hold back any of the team’s dirty laundry. This isn’t cable television this is subscription-based content and the company is always looking for the juiciest story.
But working with the high profile company like HBO may be too good to pass up for the extra publicity and for the fans entertainment.
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Patrick Dowd is a Reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via Pat_Dowd77