U.K. TV Network Orders Roller Derby Show

Roller Derby H

The Extreme Sports Channel orders the series featuring teams from the London Rollergirls league.

LONDON -- U.K. TV audiences will be offered their first televised taste of roller derby action.

Extreme Sports Channel, which focuses on action sports and lifestyle, has ordered a "factual entertainment" series featuring roller skating action from the London Rollergirls league.

The channel, owned by international broadcaster Chello Zone, has inked a deal for 13 half-hour episodes with production banner Rampage Studio to delve into the lives of the women who take part in the high-impact sport, as well as showcase the derby action as teams go head-to-head at events across Europe.

Extreme Sports Channel general manager Tim MacMullen said: "We strive to bring our viewers the most adrenaline-fueled sporting action from a variety of disciplines. As soon as we saw the event and met the women involved, we knew that Roller Derby was a perfect fit for the channel."

The show, currently in production, is due to premiere in the fall.

For the uninitiated, roller derby is billed as a full contact sport played by two teams of five members skating in the same direction around a track. Points are awarded to the sprint skater (jammer) on each team when they pass a member of the opposing team.

U.K. roller derby star Raw Heidi (Amy Ruffell) said she and her colleagues have been campaigning for years to increase the profile of the sport.

"It is a highly entertaining and challenging sport that has a huge following across Europe, and I hope it will find new fans when it airs on the channel," she said. "The buzz I get from playing a full-contact roller skating sport is unbeatable. We work and train hard and are at the top of our game. We’re delighted to be able to showcase our sport to the rest of the world."

Ben Campbell, series producer at Rampage Studio, said: "For many skaters roller derby is much more than a sport. It’s a way of life. The derby scene in the U.K. and Europe is massive, and the sport is very dear in the hearts of both the skaters and the fans."

Extreme Sports Channel launched in 1999 and is now available to over 30 million subscribers in 67 territories in 13 languages across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.