Oscar-Winning Studio A24 Fails to Outbid Skydance to Produce Movies for the League in a Huge PR Win for Roger Goodell & Co

Published 02/27/2024, 10:26 AM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

The NFL has decided against a recently minted unicorn to help with its PR strategy. A24, which is the studio behind everything from Uncut Gems to Beef, had recently been infused with $225 million at a valuation of $2.5 billion. But the NFL chose to go with a long-time partner instead.

This partnership is set to help the NFL churn out more of its content on streaming services. Why is that important? As Kendall Baker, author of Axios Sports, put it, “To tell the kinds of stories that make people want to be sports fans. On the surface, the NFL is a football league. At its core, it’s a media company.”

Roger Goodell wants to push out more NFL content


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Front Office Sports revealed that A24 had also been in the race to secure the contract. But ultimately, Skydance Media won the deal. The genesis of the partnership dates back to November 2022. The NFL, NFL Films, and Skydance Media had unveiled a collaboration to establish Skydance Sports, a top-tier global multi-sports production studio.

This innovative joint venture merges the unparalleled storytelling expertise of NFL Films with the acclaimed track record of Skydance Media in scripted film, TV, and interactive content. This exclusive partnership between Skydance Sports and the NFL marks a significant milestone in the sports entertainment industry, promising a diverse array of compelling content for enthusiasts across the globe.


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NFL Films is hailed as the gold standard of sports production. With its signature slo-mo shots and cinematic montages, it’s no wonder Sports Illustrated once dubbed it “the most effective propaganda organ in the history of corporate America.” Now, this partnership is poised to play a pivotal role in Roger Goodell’s ambitious quest to reach $25 billion in revenue by 2027. Hard Knocks is one such production by NFL Films.


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Rodgers wasn’t eager to be a part of Hard Knocks

Aaron Rodgers expressed his reluctance to participate in HBO’s Hard Knocks. The show follows one NFL team each year during its pre-season training camp. Despite the Jets being announced as the focus of the latest season, Rodgers suggested that participation was mandatory. “They forced it down our throats and we have to deal with it,” Rodgers told KPIX.

USA Today via Reuters

The five-episode series, which premiered on August 8 and ran through September 5, marked the Jets’ return to Hard Knocks after 2010. In a press conference on the Jets’ YouTube channel, Rodgers clarified his stance, stating, “We kind of knew that they wanted us to be a part of ‘Hard Knocks.’ And this just brings more attention to us.”


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Despite initial hesitation, Rodgers expressed anticipation for viewers to witness their team’s dynamic firsthand, igniting fan excitement for an insider’s look into their rigorous training.


Written by:

Jakso James


One take at a time

Jakso James is an NFL Writer at EssentiallySports. Jakso’s analysis takes a reader around the league with a look at the player strategies and stats. An ardent football lover himself, he developed a strong connection with the Denver Broncos as he witnessed Russell Wilson break the barriers.
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Edited by:

Shubhankar Adhikari