These days in the NFL, Facebook Watch seems to be all the rage. From Tom vs. Time to No Script with Marshawn Lynch to Dolphins Daily to Patriots All Access to NFL Turning Point, pro football is all over Facebook’s six-month-old video initiative.
And as of next week, you can add the Arizona Cardinals-produced Flight Plan to that list. According to the Cardinals’ official website, the new show, which debuts Wednesday (Feb. 14), will chronicle the team’s offseason, from the end of the 2017 season through the start of training camp.
The Cardinals have already had a tumultuous offseason, replacing coach Bruce Arians with Steve Wilks while watching quarterback Carson Palmer announce his retirement. Based on a trailer released Wednesday, it sounds as if Wilks’ transition and the search for a new signal-caller will be major storylines in Flight Plan.
As one era ends, another one begins.
Premiering February 14 on Facebook Watch: Cardinals Flight Plan. pic.twitter.com/F0FdjQi05x
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) February 7, 2018
Flight Plan and other digital series like it represent an evolution (or devolution, depending how you look at it) of the Hard Knocks-style behind-the scenes show that has spread across sports, in that it’s produced entirely by the team with no third party overseeing editorial decisions. That, of course, is good for the Cardinals, who don’t have to worry about embarrassing or inflammatory moments broadcast to the public, but it’s probably bad for viewers, who generally appreciate Hard Knocks and its brethren for the organic, uncensored moments they produce.
With its bevy of sports series (and its reported desire to add more), Facebook Watch is clearly serious about this kind of programming. And as the platform grows in prominence, reach and scale, it will likely allow more and more teams this chance to bypass traditional outlets like HBO and communicate directly with their fans. How successful the shows are will likely depend largely on whether they feel like true behind-the-scenes glimpses or tidy marketing material.
Flight Plan’s first episode will hit Facebook on Wednesday, Feb. 14 with subsequent installments following on Feb.28 and March 14.