Discovery Channel announced this morning it will air a two-part special, NFL In Season, in which the network goes on the road with the NFL as the Pittsburgh Steelers, Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers and Jacksonville Jaguars prepare for two “critical regular season games” — in London. It will be produced by NFL Films. The two-part special will premiere Friday, October 4, and Friday, November 1. In this way the special will book-end PBS’ Frontline special about head injuries sustained by NFL players, League Of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis, which is now scheduled to debut on PBS on October 8. The Frontline project was originally scheduled to debut as a two-parter October 8 and October 15, but that was before ESPN pulled out of that documentary, calling it a “branding” issue. Anonymous sources in August told the New York Times that ESPN, which reportedly pays the NFL upwards of $1 billion a year for Monday Night Football rights, succumbed to pressure from the NFL, which the NFL denied. This morning’s announcement:
(NEW YORK, NY) – Discovery Channel is going on the road with the NFL as the Pittsburgh Steelers, Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers and Jacksonville Jaguars prepare for two critical regular season games across the pond in London. From the producers of Hard Knocks, this two-part special will chronicle each team’s week of preparation leading up to the NFL International Series at Wembley Stadium. Viewers will get a look off the field and into the meeting rooms for an all access, behind-the-scenes look at how each team handles the rigors of the season on European soil. NFL IN SEASON – STEELERS VS. VIKINGS kicks-off Friday, October 4 at 10 PM ET/PT, followed by NFL IN SEASON – 49ERS VS. JAGUARS Friday, November 1 at 10 PM ET/PT.
This year marks the first time two regular-season games will be played in the UK as part of the NFL International Series. On Sunday, September 29, the Minnesota Vikings will host the Pittsburgh Steelers. Then on Sunday, October 27, the Jacksonville Jaguars will host the San Francisco 49ers.
“We’re thrilled to work with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers, Jacksonville Jaguars and Discovery to create a compelling two-part special that showcases the unique storylines leading up to the NFL International Series,” said NFL Films producer Ross Ketover. “As the NFL takes this historic step in our international development with two games in London, we are excited to give fans back in the U.S. a behind-the-scenes look at these games.”
Discovery will capture each moment – from the teams traveling to England and the coaches drafting game plans to the players practicing and being tourists in London. Before, during and after the game, get a fly-on-the-wall look as players work hard to make history and teams come together to return back home with a win.
NFL IN SEASON is a NFL Films Production. Executive Producers for NFL Films include Howard Katz, Pat Kelleher and Ross Ketover. Executive Producers for Discovery Channel are Christo Doyle and Matthew Kelly.