1:30pm PT by Bryn Elise Sandberg
Amazon Sets University of Michigan Football Reality Series
Amazon is further expanding its reach into sports programming.
The streaming giant has ordered a University of Michigan football series that follows coach Jim Harbaugh and the 11-time national championship team throughout the 2017 season.
Produced by BTN Originals, The Montag Group and Jim Jorden Productions, the as-yet untitled series will offer exclusive access to the college football team. The cameras will follow Harbaugh, his assistant coaches, the student athletes and their support system on and off the field, giving viewers an inside look at the team, game, practice and life in Ann Arbor. The show will be executive produced by Sandy Montag, Kirk Reynolds, Ron Lynn and Jim Jorden.
During Harbaugh’s first two years, Michigan became a top 10 national power and pulled in one of the top recruiting classes for the 2017 season. Harbaugh is a former Michigan quarterback, Heisman finalist, first-round draft pick, 14-season NFL quarterback and a former NFL head coach who led the San Francisco 49ers to three NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl in his first three seasons.
Amazon has set itself apart from other streaming competition like Netflix and Hulu with its push into the arena of sports programming. The streamer has football docuseries All or Nothing, which follows one team through a whole season, that renewed for a second season earlier this year. In April, Amazon landed the streaming rights to NFL's Thursday Night Football.
“We pride ourselves on offering Prime members access to the people and worlds that they simply cannot find anywhere else. This series will show viewers an elite college football program in a way that’s never been done before,” said Conrad Riggs, head of unscripted at Amazon. “We’re excited to have this series join the Sports Emmy-winning All or Nothing on our unscripted sports programming roster.”
Added Montag: “We are excited to partner with BTN and work with Coach Harbaugh and the Michigan football team on this all-access view into one of the great college football programs in America.”
“We are proud to collaborate with Amazon Prime Video in documenting our University of Michigan student-athletes' daily experiences and the lifelong lessons learned both on the football field and in the classroom,” said Harbaugh. “We welcome judgment! We embrace this opportunity to showcase our 2017 University of Michigan football team to a vast audience around the world.”
“This represents a tremendous opportunity for BTN’s award-winning original programming team to work with an entity like Amazon, as well as explore alternative distribution models for Big Ten content in the future,” said Michael Calderon, senior vp programming and digital media at BTN.