October 19 – Barcelona are the latest of Europe’s giant clubs to announce a behind-the-scenes TV show with a media partner. The club and US streaming service Verizon go90 have announced the launch of Inside Barça which will air weekly.
Barca’s announcement follows hard on the heels of Facebook’s eight-part docuseries, Hala Madrid, that started airing at the beginning of September in the US on its new Watch OTT streaming platform. Last week Juventus unveiled a fly-on-the-wall series with Italian champions Juventus that will debut on the streaming service in 2018.
Meanwhile Manchester City are partnering with US OTT broadcaster Amazon Prime for their own football docuseries, though there appear to be some rights issues with the Premier League and UK rights holder Sky Television.
Barca’s partnership with Verizon go90 is focussed on delivering the programming for the US market and will chronicle the club’s 2017-18 season in a weekly studio-based TV format and will feature a mixture of match reviews, previews, commentary, highlights, training ground footage, player reactions and factual entertainment, as well as other original content created by the club.
go90 is part of Verizon’s media portfolio of video content and platforms, which includes AOL, HuffPost, Yahoo View, Yahoo Sports. The platform carries 25,000 hours of live sports.
Francesco Calvo, head of global business at Barcelona, said: “One year ago we opened our Americas office in New York City with the primary goal of bringing the club closer to its millions of fans here. Our partnership with Verizon means we’ll be able to reach more Barça fans, and soccer fans, in the States than ever before – and importantly, on connected devices. Now our US fans will have a backstage, insiders pass to what it’s like to be at Camp Nou for nearly every match. It’s an incredible experience for them, and we’re looking forward to kicking it off this season.”
Emphasising the US focus of the programming deal, go90 chief content officer Ivana Kirkbride said: “go90 and Barça share a similar objective: support the growth of soccer fandom in the United States, by providing access and opportunity to fans like never before.”
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