Mike Green in the original HBO 24/7: Road to the Winter Classic series.
The NHL and HBO just couldn’t get on the same page about producing another season of 24/7 for this year’s (or next year’s, whatever) Winter Classic. No matter, the guy who pioneered the show, former HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg, is going to bring something like it to us. And he’s gonna do it on something called Epix.
Announced at today’s brouhaha at Nationals Park, which was totally inspired by Camden Yards, the as-of-yet-unnamed television series will be in four parts. We are promised cursing and stitches and all the not-totally-safe-for-kids-unless-your-kids-are-badass content we got from the HBO series, though the NHL seems to have final cut– so don’t expect any scandals.
And most importantly: it’ll be free.
The show will be on Sportsnet in Canada, but you’re not in Canada so you don’t care. Here in the states, you can watch it on the Epix channel (if you get it, which you don’t) or using a ton of different streaming solutions: NHL.com, Epix.com, and a bunch of device-specific apps.
There’s a lot of fondness for HBO’s 24/7 series. Its production values were very, very high (Cotton Weary’s voiceover for one). It’ll be a daunting challenge for Epix and the NHL to hit the bar (and spend that dough) again.
And I’ve got another question. Even with the less league interference, 2010-11’s HBO 24/7 program failed to capture the dramatic transformation that the Capitals undertook in December of 2010. Now that the league will be even more hands-on, what does that augur for the coverage?
I’m guessing a #nofilter hashtag won’t be appropriate.
From the league:
EPIX TEAMS WITH NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE FOR TWO-PART SERIES, DEBUTING IN DECEMBER 2014
Original Series Will Feature Inside Look at Chicago Blackhawks vs. Washington Capitals in 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® and Los Angeles Kings vs. San Jose Sharks in 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™
Live Streams of Each Episode Will Be Available to U.S. Hockey Fans via EPIX and NHL Digital Platforms
Sportsnet to Distribute the Series in Canada
NEW YORK, NY (September 23, 2014) – Premium TV network EPIX and the National Hockey League (NHL®) announced today that they have formed a partnership to produce and distribute a two-part original series, debuting on EPIX in December 2014, that will bring hockey fans onto the ice and behind-the-scenes with the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals as they prepare to compete in the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, and the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks on their road to the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™.
Produced by 52-time Emmy award winner Ross Greenburg, the series will offer viewers an exclusive look inside the world of the NHL, with strategically placed cameras and microphones providing an all-access pass to players’ homes, locker rooms, training rooms, and the arena.
A pioneer in “TV Everywhere” multi-platform availability, EPIX’s television, on-demand, and digital offerings will provide fans intimate looks at these athletes in professional and personal settings, capturing all the action, drama, heartaches, and triumphs as they unfold.
Part one of the series will premiere on EPIX in the U.S. and Sportsnet in Canada in December, with weekly episodes following the Blackhawks and the Capitals through regular season games, culminating with the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® outdoor game in Washington, D.C. on New Year’s Day, January 1.
Part two of the series will premiere on EPIX in the U.S. and Sportsnet in Canada in February 2015 with weekly episodes focused on the reigning Stanley Cup® Champion Kings and their division rivals, the Sharks, as they prepare for the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ on February 21st.
U.S. hockey fans will be able to watch each episode streamed live for free on EPIX.com, the EPIX mobile and connected device apps, as well as on NHL.com, the NHL app, and the official websites and apps for each participating team. In addition, fans will be able to sign up for a free trial EPIX subscription at EPIX.com to view the entire series on demand through the EPIX online and app platforms.
“We are incredibly excited to be working with the National Hockey League to create this original series,” said EPIX President and CEO Mark Greenberg. “This up close and personal programming is a perfect fit with our goal to provide entertainment that engages fans, using leading edge technology to meet the changing viewing habits of consumers, making it available wherever, whenever they are watching.”
“Hockey fans have a strong appetite for original and engaging content built on storytelling,” said NHL Chief Operating Officer John Collins. “EPIX has developed an impressive reputation for its high-quality original sports programming and access to its content across a multitude of platforms. This two-part series will continue to bring every fan the engaging, all-access narratives and storylines they have come to expect.”
“The players appreciate the high level of interest that this series will create amongst fans with Ross Greenburg and EPIX bringing the players’ stories directly into your living room,” said Don Fehr, NHL Players’ Association Executive Director. “The opportunity to play outdoors in a stadium atmosphere is always exciting for the players and their families, and this series will undoubtedly be content that fans won’t want to miss.”
“Canadian hockey fans love seeing their favourite players up-close and personal – they can never get enough of it,” said Scott Moore, President, Sportsnet and NHL, Rogers. “This series is the perfect complement to our stars-first philosophy and we are proud to partner with the NHL and EPIX to bring this type of premium programming to hockey fans north of the border.”
This two-part series is the newest entry in EPIX’s wide-ranging, exclusive sports franchise programming, which includes Forgotten Four: the Integration of Pro Football, premiering tonight, September 23rd, at 8 PM ET. Featured programs also include David Ortiz In the Moment, Amar’e Stoudemire In the Moment, Lindsey Vonn In the Moment, and Schooled: The Price of College Sports.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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