||HEADLINE NEWS - News
Wednesday - 6/13/2001
NEW YORK, June 13, 2001 � HBO Sports, in association with NFL Films and the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens, will provide an unprecedented, all-access look at what it takes to make it in the National Football League when HARD KNOCKS: TRAINING CAMP WITH THE BALTIMORE RAVENS launches this August, it was announced today by Ross Greenburg, president, HBO Sports, and Steve Sabol, president, NFL Films. The first sports-based reality series -- and the fastest-turnaround reality series ever -- will debut WEDNESDAY, AUG. 1 (11:00 p.m.-midnight ET/PT), exclusively on HBO. Subsequent episodes will air each Wednesday, culminating with a series finale on Sept. 5, with replay times including Thursdays at 8:00 p.m.
�This fast-moving series will give our subscribers the unique experience of life inside an NFL training camp,� said Rick Bernstein, executive producer, HBO Sports. �For 25 years, HBO and NFL Films have brought the NFL experience home to our viewers with �Inside the NFL,� and now we can provide another outstanding production that will not only satisfy hungry football fans, but provide casual observers with a gripping, never-before-seen inside look at what men endure to make a professional football team.�
�This is not a �made for television event,� or manufactured situation,� said Sabol. �We�ll be documenting real athletes giving everything they have -- putting it all on the line for what could be their only, or last, shot at what they�ve trained for all of their lives. Usually our highlights re-tell a story, but with this kind of immediacy, we�ll tell the story as it happens. Our cameras will be rolling from the time the players leave their families to the time the coach decides if they�re �in� or �out.� �
The six-week cin�ma v�rit� series will focus on the players� and coaches� daily lives and routines as the Baltimore Ravens build their 2001 team and prepare to defend their world title. HARD KNOCKS: TRAINING CAMP WITH THE BALTIMORE RAVENS will follow head coach Brian Billick and veteran players Shannon Sharpe, Tony Siragusa, Ray Lewis, Qadry Ismail, Rod Woodson and others trying to keep their jobs, as well as rookie hopefuls Todd Heap and Dwayne Missouri. Additional veteran, rookie and free-agent players to be profiled will be announced later. Each week, viewers will watch as players experience drills, meetings, fun and struggle to prove that they have what it takes to make the team and make their mark in the NFL.
�There will be those who question why the Ravens would allow this comprehensive look into our preseaon,� said head coach Brian Billick. �They�ll predict it will be a major distraction. But we welcome the focus HBO will put on us. We are the team to beat, and we�d better learn how to handle the attention that comes with being the defending champs. This series will help us do that.�
A 16-person NFL Films crew will live at the Ravens� training camp at Western Maryland College in Westminster, Md., shooting more than 700 hours of video over the course of the series. Camera and sound crews will be given unprecedented access to the players� and coaches� meeting rooms, training rooms, dormitories and practice fields. An NFL Films production trailer will be on-site for player interviews as they reveal their insights during the blistering hot days of August.
Once the Ravens set their final roster, HBO viewers can continue to follow the progress of the team, as well as the other 30 NFL clubs, when �Inside the NFL� begins its 25th season Thursday, Sept. 13 (8:00-9:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.
To view the entire press conference Click Here.