We’ve seen various American sports teams and leagues providing television cameras full access for reality shows. One of the most famous series is the NFL Films-produced Hard Knocks which airs on HBO.

Now NBCSN is following suit with a rare look inside the Premier League with a new four-part series. Called “Premier League Behind The Badge: Crystal Palace FC,” the series premieres this afternoon at 2 p.m. ET.

The first installment looks at Crystal Palace’s preparations for its FA Cup match with fellow Premier League team Southampton. Talking with manager Alan Pardew and midfielder Jason Puncheon, we see the team’s preparation for the match against Southampton starting three days before the game.

Cameras are allowed everywhere inside Crystal Palace’s training facilities. They follow team executives, trainers, players and even the in-house reporter throughout the team’s headquarters in South London. BBC Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker narrates the series and gives the show a certain gravitas. The series was shot over an 18-day period beginning on January 9.

From the team’s kitchen where the cook sets off a fire alarm to the team’s co-owner, Steve Parish, there seems to be a trust with the NBCSN cameras and the co-producer Goalhanger Films.

In the first episode, cameras follow the team to Southampton and the team’s headquarters in a hotel where conference rooms become scouting and meeting places for Crystal Palace.

A common theme for this first episode was the rain that befell the UK during the run up to the FA Cup match. And the way the show was produced, we feel that we’re part of the training process up until the game begins. We learn that Pardew is a fan of the Green Bay Packers and its late coach, Vince Lombardi.

It’s a fascinating look and one which soccer fans should enjoy. Premier League Behind The Badge: Crystal Palace FC airs today at 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN and throughout the next few weeks:

Date Time (ET) Episode Network
Sun., Jan. 17 2 p.m. 1 NBCSN
Sun., Jan. 24 1:30 p.m. 2 NBCSN
Mon., Feb. 1 8:00 p.m. 3 NBCSN
Sat., Feb. 6 1-2:30 p.m. 1-3 Encore NBC
Sat., Feb. 6 2:30 p.m. 4 NBC

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.