Football: like PSG, the clubs are starting the playoffs

(AFP) – Another way to please: Paris SG has its documentary series, broadcast on Amazon Prime Video, like Manchester City, Bayern or Juventus, which have invested in streaming platforms to reach a younger, less attracted audience by matches.

Footballers don’t plan a heist in “La Casa de Papel” mode, pilot spaceships like in “The Mandalorian”, and crack jokes a la “The Office”, three hit series from the entertainment giants in line.

But they have their place in the catalog of Prime Video, Netflix or Disney + which, more and more, invest in sport with immersion content, their trademark.

The giant Amazon, the new co-broadcaster of Ligue 1, released Friday the second season of “PSG Ô Ville Lumière, 50 years of legend” which, in three episodes of about fifty minutes, mixes historical flashbacks and behind the scenes of the last season.

On Prime Video, the Parisians share the poster with Tottenham, Manchester City, Raphaël Varane and Sergio Ramos, while waiting for the series announced on Juventus, Bayern and Atlético Madrid.

Antoine Griezmann, Juventus (again) or the Argentinian clubs of Boca Juniors and River Plate, wear the Netflix jersey, when Disney + bet on the Dutch at Feyenoord Rotterdam.

This trend is linked “to changes in consumption patterns. There is a challenge to reenergize the existing base and to recruit, in particular the younger generations. It is a decisive weapon” for the clubs, decrypts AFP Arnaud Simon, former boss of Eurosport France and consultant.

– Like F1 –
“There is a kind of transfer, not in the appetite for sport, but in the way of consuming it. Documentary writing brings an authenticity sought by the youngest who watch less direct”, he continues.

“Football cannot do without this kind of storytelling”, he adds, citing the example of the success of the series on Netflix “Formula 1: Drivers of their destiny” which has boosted interest. around F1.

“It is intended to be general public, to interest everyone. We can lose the public if we put too much football,” confirms Benjamin Montel, co-director of the documentary series on PSG.

“We don’t do a seasonal soap opera like a broadcaster or a rights holder can do. What we do is tell a story. You have to characterize the characters, and therefore find more dramatic issues, not just sportsmen, “he continues.

Thus, in episode two, it is the young Francilien Timothée Pembélé, trained at the club, who bursts the screen … to the point of eclipsing pivotal moments of the season, such as the dismissal of coach Thomas Tuchel , quickly mentioned.

“We agreed (with PSG) on a mode of operation, on themes, on players. Obviously, at this level, we can not do anything”, explains Manuel Herrero , the “showrunner” (author-producer) of the series he co-produced with PSG.

– “Editorial bias” –
PSG believe they have played the game, sometimes letting the cameras enter the locker room. “The first week it was a little weird, but after that it was natural,” said player Ander Herrera.

“Maybe I was a problem for them, smiles sporting director Leonardo. to capture certain moments of emotion. “

“It’s a balancing act between what we can do, what we want to do and what we end up doing,” said Benjamin Montel.

The quality of the content will depend a lot on the leeway left by the clubs, explains Arnaud Simon.

“The more you control, the less impact the content will have. There has to be an editorial bias, which was greatly lacking in the documentary (on Prime Video) devoted to the Blues at the 2018 World Cup. I say : + stop bringing me cameras, bring me keys, to open the locker room door, or briefings + “, he continues.

“It connects fans all over the world emotionally, beyond sports scores. You build the brand not just on sports results, but also on the soul that you exude,” he says. On this ground, PSG hopes to win the match.