MLB and Netflix are coming together for some documentaries. According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, it was announced on Wednesday that the streaming service, in partnership with MLB Studios, will have access to follow the 2024 Boston Red Sox from Opening Day to the final day of the season. Access to the docuseries will debut in 2025, marking the first time Netflix has followed an MLB team over an entire baseball season.
MLB and Netflix are doing their own version of the NFL’s Hard Knocks this season with Netflix spending the 2024 year with the Boston Red Sox for a docuseries while also producing a documentary on their historic 2004 World Series championship team.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) February 7, 2024
MLB Gets Into Business with Netflix
This docuseries will follow in the footsteps of Netflix’s other sports stories like Formula 1’s Drive to Survive, the NFL’s Quarterbacks, and the PGA Tour’s Full Swing. Camera crews will have access to players, coaches, and executives throughout the 2024 season. But there are other things Netflix is working on. There will be a second documentary about the 2004 World Series championship team.
The two-part documentary is from Meadowlark Media. MLB Studios, the league’s in-house production, will be involved with both projects. The league has slowly increased its media business outside of live games. The studio produced non-fiction content, including Moneyball and 42.
The two-part documentary from Meadowlark Media will highlight the season that ended the Red Sox’s 86-year championship drought, with exclusive interviews with players and others involved. The still-untitled doc will debut later this year.
MLB Studios, the league’s in-house production arm, is also involved in both projects. The league has sought to grow its media business outside of live games on AppleTV. MLB Studios is home to non-fiction content and movies like Moneyball and 42.
How the Red Sox Got a Shot at the Project
Red Sox chief marketing officer Adam Grossman said this about the upcoming documentary: “It wasn’t necessarily going to be about the Red Sox. It was just more of the importance of getting baseball into this medium, these sort of doc series and global platform opportunities,”.
After months of conversations that included discussions with the front office, players, and coaching staff, the Red Sox were willing to participate. However, the buy-in from the players was crucial to the Red Sox brass. If they said no, the project likely wouldn’t have happened.
“MLB took some time to concept,” said Grossman. “What would make the most sense from a baseball standpoint, from the industry standpoint? Is it leagues, is it players, multiple teams or specific teams? It could go so many different ways. And over the course of the year, I think what they landed on was that it would probably be best — given the nature of the grind of a season — to feature one team. Then the question was, what team would do it?”
The two docuseries will undoubtedly brighten the day of any Red Sox fan. It will give the team increased visibility thanks to Netflix having more than 250 million paid subscriptions.
Photo Credit: © Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports