Joint venture between legendary NFL storyteller and leading content company to produce sports media across broad spectrum of genres in scripted and unscripted programming
The NFL, NFL Films and Skydance Media today announced a partnership to create the premier global multi-sports production studio in the industry with Skydance Sports. The joint venture brings together one of the most decorated storytellers in sports television production history, and an award-winning media company with a proven track record and expertise in scripted film, TV, and interactive content. Via this exclusive partnership with the NFL, Skydance Sports and NFL Films will now team up to significantly expand multi-platform programming across sports in a broad range of formats for partners, fans, and viewers around the world.
Both the NFL, through its strategic investment arm 32 Equity, and Skydance Media are making substantial investments to launch this joint venture.
“This partnership truly matches two companies who are considered among the best at what they do,” said NFL Chief Media and Business Officer, Brian Rolapp. “Combining the unscripted expertise and storytelling of NFL Films with Skydance’s leadership position in TV, film, animation, and other areas will create the leading sports content studio in the world.”
“We could not be prouder to partner with the NFL to build Skydance Sports into the premiere global sports content studio. Being in business with the most prestigious and far-reaching brands in sport is an honor, and the opportunities for storytelling, consumer resonance and success are endless,” said David Ellison, CEO of Skydance Media. “With the power and expertise of the NFL, NFL Films and Skydance Media, Skydance Sports is poised to deliver some of the most compelling sports content of our generation.”
Skydance films include last summer’s box office record-breaking Top Gun: Maverick which earned nearly $1.5B and was the #1 film in Paramount’s 100+ year history. Skydance Sports initially launched earlier this year and just completed production on its first two projects for Amazon Prime Video: the soccer docuseries Good Rivals and an untitled Air Jordan film starring Ben Affleck and Matt Damon and directed by Affleck. Now, as the basis of this new venture, Skydance Sports will expand its reach and expertise as it harnesses the partnership to respond to the significant market demand for non-game sports content, both scripted and unscripted, that will lean into the strengths of both NFL Films and Skydance Media.
For 60 years, NFL Films has been recognized as an industry leader in sports storytelling, especially in unscripted programming such as the award-winning series Hard Knocks. With 136 Sports Emmy® Awards to its credit, NFL Films remains a gold standard in premium sports content, providing an elevated and connected viewer experience with unprecedented access to the sport of professional football. NFL Films will continue to produce its full slate of award-winning programming and will work within the partnership to develop and produce a new array of content.
“The team at NFL Films is incredibly excited by this partnership and the opportunity it presents to take the next step in our evolution,” said NFL Films Senior Executive, Ross Ketover. “Through this new venture, we will be able to expand our storytelling acumen into different areas of content by tapping into the expertise and creativity of a highly accomplished media company in Skydance.”
“When we set the vision of Skydance Sports a year ago, we aspired to create a pipeline for the very best sports storytelling,” said Skydance Media President & COO, Jesse Sisgold. “Partnering with the NFL and NFL Films gives us the power, privilege and expertise to do this at the highest level possible all while celebrating sports, teams, and athletes around the world.”
About NFL Films
Winner of 136 Sports Emmy® Awards, NFL Films is widely recognized as the most honored filmmaker in sports and is credited with revolutionizing the way fans watch football and sports in general. NFL Films is a part of NFL Media, the owned and operated media division of the National Football League, which is comprised of NFL Network, NFL Films, the NFL App, NFL.com, NFL+ and NFL RedZone.
Founded by Ed Sabol in 1962, NFL Films has evolved into a state-of-the-art creative engine. Along the way, NFL Films has pushed the envelope of how sports are covered and presented, in the process creating many techniques that have shaped the industry today.
NFL Films continues to produce notable franchises and documentaries across multiple networks and platforms, such as the Emmy Award-winning innovative series Hard Knocks airing each summer on HBO along with an in-season edition following an NFL team in real time; Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning’s whimsical tour through NFL history Peyton’s Places on ESPN+ as well as Eli Manning’s popular college football spinoff Eli’s Places and a constellation of Places expansions in additional sports; the weekly Inside the NFL show recapping the week in the NFL on Paramount+; the longest-running sports magazine show on television NFL Films Presents on FS1; seven documentaries for ESPN’s renowned 30 for 30 series and multiple Emmy Award-winning documentaries for HBO including Lombardi and Namath; the highly-acclaimed series A Football Life, America’s Game and The Top 100 on NFL Network; the Emmy Award-winning YouTube series Game Day All Access giving fans an intimate look at the full game day experience; the bio-doc series NFL Icons for Epix; and much more.
NFL Films holds the National Football League’s ever growing digital archive and record of the game, recognized as the world’s largest sports film library. For more information on NFL Films, visit NFLFilms.com.
Skydance is the diversified media company founded by David Ellison in 2010 to create high-quality, event-level entertainment for global audiences. The Company first launched with Feature Films and has since strategically expanded to include Television, Interactive, Animation, New Media and Sports, with studios in Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, Spain and Canada.
Skydance’s films includes the box office record-breaking Top Gun: Maverick, The Adam Project which debuted as the number one movie on Netflix, The Tomorrow War on Amazon Prime Video which became the number one streaming film upon its release, as well as the critically-acclaimed The Old Guard on Netflix. In total, Skydance’s films have earned more than $7 billion at the worldwide box office. The studio’s film slate includes The Greatest Beer Run Ever, plus the upcoming Ghosted, The Family Plan for Apple TV+; Heart of Stone, The Old Guard 2 and a reboot of the Spy Kids film franchise for Netflix; and the seventh and eighth installments of the Mission: Impossible global franchise. Skydance Television is a leading supplier of premium scripted content across a range of platforms including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV+. The studio’s current slate includes the Emmy-nominated series Grace and Frankie, which became Netflix’s longest running series following the release of its final season earlier this year,as well as Foundation, Reacher, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Condor, The Big Door Prize and an untitled spy series starring Arnold Schwarzenegger in his first ever scripted television series. Skydance Interactive creates and publishes original and IP-based virtual reality and other immersive video games including the top-selling The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners, which received several award nominations, including “Best VR/AR Game” at the 2020 Game Awards. Skydance New Media creates narratively focused interactive experiences crafted as original series, putting the audience at the center of the action and adventure, with the first two productions being with Marvel Entertainment and Lucasfilm Games respectively. Skydance Sports develops premium scripted and unscripted sports-related content, documentaries and events and among others is behind two projects for Amazon Prime Video: the docuseries Good Rivals and an untitled Air Jordan film starring Ben Affleck and Matt Damon and directed by Affleck. Skydance Animation develops and produces high-end feature films and television series with full production capability across two studios in Los Angeles and Madrid. The first two slated movies are Luck and Spellbound, the first short film is Blush, and the first series is Wondla, all premiering on Apple TV+.