Netflix, NFL partner on Quarterback series
As the NFL embraces streaming, the NFL has embraced a new streaming company.
Netflix announced on Wednesday its first partnership with the NFL. The end result is Quarterback, a docu-series that explores each season through the lens of an NFL quarterback.
The first season, coming this summer, focuses on Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, and Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota.
The announcement promises “exclusive, unprecedented access” to the players, both on the field and in their homes.
The three quarterbacks had microphones on them for every game of their seasons.
Mahomes newly-formed production company, 2PM Productions, will produce the series. He’s quoted in the release, as is Peyton Manning, because Omaha Productions is part of the project, too.
Omaha Productions is basically part of everything the NFL currently does. That makes Peyton Manning a wide-ranging freelancer for all things NFL, giving him far more influence than he’d have if he ever settled in to a specific job somewhere.
We’ll see whether that influence results in only the most manicured and sanitized moments making it to the show, or whether we’ll get something raw and real -- like the true story behind Mariota abruptly leaving the Falcons after he was benched, or the steps taken during the AFC playoff game against the Jaguars to get Mahomes back on the field after suffering an ankle injury.
And is it possible that, at some point during the year, Cousins actually uttered a word stronger than dang, shoot, or frick? If he did, here’s hoping it makes the cut. (He probably didn’t.)
The next question becomes whether this is the beginning of a new relationship that potentially will culminate in Netflix broadcasting NFL games. The Amazon-NFL partnership began several years ago with the All or Nothing series, an in-season equivalent to Hard Knocks. Now, Amazon has the Thursday night package.
Quarterback could have landed anywhere. It’s not with one of the NFL’s current broadcast partners. The fact that it’s with a company with which the NFL hasn’t previously done business should not be underestimated as the NFL’s gears slowly churn into the future of TV or, as the case may be, not TV.