Over the past few years, ESPN’s 30 for 30 series has dominated the sports documentary genre taking over from HBO Sports which has been noticeably silent (except for its Sports in America series) since 2012. Now sports documentaries are getting a new producer and it’s not a traditional outlet.
Sports Business Daily reports that SI is creating a documentary unit called “Sports Illustrated Films” which will produce long-form films and videos. It joins a crowded field which includes the aforementioned 30 for 30, HBO (whenever it decides to produce sports documentaries again), Showtime, CBS Sports Network and NBCSN.
SBD notes that SI has been producing films and long-form videos already and this a natural progression for as it has been telling stories for over 60 years in print. Sports Illustrated Group editor Paul Fichtenbaum made the announcement last week, “Sports Illustrated Films will be the home for compelling long-form video, allowing us to fulfill the brand promise and expand what we do in a unique way that resonates with the audience.”
SI has been producing a daily digital programming, SI Now and has also created videos regarding its annual swimsuit issue.
There’s no word on when the first Sports Illustrated Films ventures will premiere or which topics will be broached.