In case you missed it, the Atlanta Falcons blew a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl.
How a team and a franchise comes back from that devastating loss is a very interesting story and we may get just a small taste of it this fall with the man at the absolute top of the franchise.
Since April, NBC Sports has been following Falcons owner Arthur Blank for a documentary that will air on Saturday September 2nd on NBC. The Atlanta Journal Constitution says it will go way beyond the Super Bowl and talk about Blank’s upbringing, business background, philanthropy, the building of a new stadium, and even his foray into MLS with Atlanta United. And that whole Super Bowl thing will come up too.
After months of filming, NBC Sports is set to present a one-hour documentary profiling Falcons and Atlanta United owner Arthur Blank.
The show, titled “On a Mission: Atlanta Rising,” will cover Blank’s life from boyhood to present-day. It will air at 2 p.m. Sept. 2 on NBC.
“When the idea for the show came about and we started to look at potential subjects across different sports, the one person we kept coming back to was Arthur Blank,” Jon Miller, president of programming for NBC Sports Group, told the AJC through a spokesman. “He wears multiple hats with wide-ranging accomplishments, greatly impacting the community, producing winners in business and on the field, and leading by example.
Blank is an interesting subject for a documentary, especially a profile piece like the one NBC is planning. The timing couldn’t be better with the Falcons relevant thanks to all of the above factors. Additionally, the portrait of Blank’s career and his various endeavors would be interesting and he is one of the more likable owners in professional sports (see the Falcons’ concession stand prices for the upcoming season).
It does seem to come out of left field a bit for the network to plan a documentary like this on a Saturday before the NFL season starts as a one-off. NBC Sports launched a films department in 2015 but it’s mostly flown under the radar since then with a few special presentations here and there. NBC usually makes really good stuff, but the network could use stronger branding and awareness, especially in the increasingly competitive documentary space.
The question for NBC is how much traction this documentary can gain with audiences given the timeslot and promotion for it. A cursory Twitter search shows that this is the first real press attention for the show, so NBC might have their work cut out for them in attracting widespread viewers.
Here’s the press release from NBC for more information about the documentary.