The NFL, NFL Films and Skydance Media today announced a partnership to create Skydance Sports, the industry’s premier global multisport production studio. The joint venture brings together one of the most awarded storytellers in the history of sports television production and an award-winning media company with a proven track record and expertise in scripted films, television and interactive content. Through this exclusive partnership with the NFL, Skydance Sports and NFL Films will now join forces to significantly expand cross-platform sports programming in a wide 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 significant investments to launch this joint venture.
“This partnership is a true fit for two companies that are among the best in their fields,” said Brian Rolapp, NFL’s chief media and business officer. “Combining NFL Films’ unencrypted expertise and storytelling with Skydance’s leadership in television, film, animation and more will create the world’s premier sports content studio.”
“We couldn’t be prouder to be working with the NFL to grow Skydance Sports into the leading global sports content studio. To be in business with the most respected and far-reaching brands in esports 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 movies include Top Gun: Maverick, last summer’s record-breaking box office grossing nearly $1.5 billion and the #1 film in Paramount’s 100+ year history. Skydance Sports launched earlier this year and has just completed production on its first two projects for Amazon Prime Video: football documentaries Good Rivals and an untitled Air Jordan film starring Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, directed by Affleck. As the foundation of this new venture, Skydance Sports will now expand its reach and expertise by leveraging the partnership to respond to significant market demand for scripted and unscripted non-game sports content, which will draw on the strengths of both NFL- Movies and skydance media.
For 60 years, NFL Films has been recognized as an industry leader in sports storytelling, particularly on unscripted programs like the award-winning series Hard Knocks. With 136 Sports Emmy® Awards under its belt, NFL Films remains the gold standard for premium sports content, delivering an elevated and connected viewer experience with unparalleled access to the sport of professional football. NFL Films will continue to produce its full lineup of award-winning programs and will work within the partnership to develop and produce a new line of content.
“The NFL Films team is incredibly excited about this partnership and the opportunity to take the next step in our development,” said Ross Ketover, NFL Films senior executive. “Through this new venture, we will be able to extend our storytelling acumen to diverse content areas by drawing on the expertise and creativity of a high-profile skydance media company.”
“When we set the vision for Skydance Sports a year ago, we wanted to create a pipeline for the very best in sports storytelling,” said Jesse Sisgold, President and COO of Skydance Media. “Partnering with the NFL and NFL Films gives us the power, privilege and expertise to do this at the highest possible level while celebrating sports, teams and athletes around the world.”
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 view football and sports in general. NFL Films is part of NFL Media, the National Football League’s owned and operated media division, which consists of NFL Network, NFL Films, the NFL App, NFL.com, NFL+ and NFL RedZone.
Founded in 1962 by Ed Sabol, NFL Films has grown into a cutting-edge creative machine. Over time, NFL Films has pushed the boundaries of how sports are broadcast and presented, developing many of the 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, which airs each summer on HBO, along with a seasonal edition that follows an NFL team in real-time; Pro Football Hall of Famer quarterback Peyton Manning’s whimsical tour of NFL history Peyton’s Places on ESPN+, plus 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, which recaps 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 acclaimed series 30 for 30 and several Emmy Award-winning documentaries for HBO, including Lombardi and Namath; the acclaimed series A Football Life, America’s Game and The Top 100 on the NFL Network; the Emmy Award-winning Game Day All Access YouTube series, which gives fans an intimate look at the full game day experience; the Bio-Doc series NFL Icons for Epix; and much more.
NFL Films owns the ever-expanding National Football League digital archive and gameplay recording, recognized as the largest sports film library in the world. 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-class entertainment for a global audience. Beginning with feature films, the company has since strategically expanded into television, interactive, animation, new media and sports, with studios in Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, Spain and Canada.
Skydance’s films include the box-office record-breaking Top Gun: Maverick, The Adam Project, which debuted as a #1 movie on Netflix, The Tomorrow War on Amazon Prime Video, which became the #1 streaming movie upon release , as well as the Critical-acclaimed The Old Guard on Netflix. Collectively, Skydance’s films have grossed more than $7 billion at the worldwide box office. The studio’s film listing includes The Greatest Beer Run Ever, plus Ghosted; The Family Plan for Apple TV+; Heart of Stone, The Old Guard 2 and a reboot of the Spy Kids film series for Netflix; and the seventh and eighth installments in the global Mission: Impossible franchise. Skydance Television is a leading provider of premium scripted content across a range of platforms including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV+. The studio’s current roster includes Emmy-nominated Grace and Frankie, which became the longest-running Netflix series after the release of its final season earlier this year, and 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 best-selling The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners, which received multiple nominations including Best VR/AR Game at the Game Awards 2020. Skydance New Media creates narrative-focused interactive experiences designed as original series that put the audience at the center of the action and adventure, with the first two productions being conducted with Marvel Entertainment and Lucasfilm Games, respectively. Skydance Sports develops premium sports-related content, documentaries and events, both scripted and unscripted, and is behind two projects for Amazon Prime Video: the docu-series Good Rivals and an untitled Air Jordan film starring Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, directed by Affleck. Skydance Animation develops and produces high-quality feature films and television series at full production capacity in two studios in Los Angeles and Madrid. The first two films planned are Luck and Spellbound, the first short is Blush and the first series is Wondla, all of which will premiere on Apple TV+.