By Paul Kennedy
"Being: Liverpool," Fox's six-part series on Liverpool that debuts Sunday, provides unprecedented access into the life of an English Premier League club.
The American equivalent of "Being: Liverpool" might be HBO's “Hard Knocks” or its “24/7" series but without the obscenities.
The series, directed by Emmy Award-winning producer Scott Boggins and narrated by actor Clive Owen, begins with the end of the 2011-12 season and covers summer training camp and the start of the 2012-13 EPL season.
Fox went to Liverpool's American owners for support but had to convince new Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers to provide behind-the-scenes access.
Tom Werner, one of Liverpool's owners, told Richard Sandomir of the New York Times that Rodgers was shown “Hard Knocks and “The Franchise” (Showtime's baseball reality show).
“I believe he saw that this series could humanize our players and bring new fans to soccer in general and Liverpool in particular," said Werner.
The series premieres Sunday on Fox, either preceding (3 p.m. ET) or following (4:30 p.m. ET) local NFL on FOX singleheader coverage.
There will be two repeats Sunday night on Fox Soccer and throughout the week on National Geographic Channel, Fox Sports Networks and FUEL TV. New Spanish-language network MundoFox debuts the series on Sept. 22 (2 p.m. ET).
Future episodes debut in prime time on Fox Soccer and MundoFox, beginning Sept. 23 (9:00 p.m. ET/PT), with repeats on National Geographic Channel, FSN and FUEL TV.
USA-JAMAICA RATINGS. Tuesday's USA-Jamaica World Cup qualifier on ESPN2 averaged 902,000 viewers, ranking in the top 20 cable progams in primetime for the day. The opening U.S. home qualifier against Antigua & Barbuda in June was seen by 899,000 viewers on ESPN2.
-- Univision’s broadcast of the Mexico-Costa Rica qualifier averaged 3.9 million viewers, making it the second most watched soccer game of the year on the Spanish-language network. Tuesday's broadcast helped make Univision the No. 1 broadcast network on the night among men 18-49 and men 18-34.
FOX HIRES NEAL. David Neal, a former executive vice president of NBC Sports in charge of its Olympic coverage, has been hired by Fox to oversee its coverage of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. He won 34 Emmy Awards during his years at NBC and most recently was a senior vice president in sports production at Univision.
Neal's first projects will be to work on Fox's 2013 coverage of the Gold Cup and ongoing coverage on Fox Soccer. The Fox Sports Media Group will begin its FIFA soccer coverage with the 2015 Women's World Cup from Canada.
NSCAA SPONSORSHIP. The NSCAA has selected Korrio as an official commercial partner in their NSCAA Club Standards Project. Korrio will provide automation tools to streamline club administration functions. The Club Standards Project is designed to raise the standards and expectations for coach and player development for more than 10,000 U.S. clubs and others abroad.
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