Netflix Partners With MLB for New Series, Documentary About Boston Red Sox

Netflix Feb. 7 announced two new projects with Major League Baseball centered on the Boston Red Sox

For the first time, the streaming service will follow an MLB team over the course of a full season. This docuseries will provide viewers a glimpse behind the scenes of the Red Sox organization during the upcoming 2024 campaign, spotlighting what it takes to compete across a season’s ups and downs in one of the most rabid sports environments. Netflix will have unprecedented access to players, coaches and executives throughout the 2024 season, and the docuseries will debut in 2025. 

The second project — coming to Netflix later this year — will be a documentary looking back at the 2004 Red Sox season that culminated with the franchise winning its first World Series title in 86 years. The series will feature new, exclusive interviews with key players and figures from the team that broke one of baseball’s longest championship droughts.

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“Our fans love that our sports series focus on the drama of sport and nothing was more dramatic than the 2004 Red Sox season, especially having witnessed their comeback from the bleachers during Game 7 against the Yankees,” said Gabe Spitzer, VP of nonfiction sports at Netflix. “We’re thrilled to partner with this iconic franchise to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the greatest sports comeback ever, while also looking forward to the team’s future with inside access to their 2024 campaign.”

“Baseball is driven by the incredible stories of our athletes,” said Noah Garden, deputy commissioner of business and media for Major League Baseball. “Teaming up with Netflix for these two exciting projects is a tremendous opportunity to not only bring our avid fans closer to the game they love, but also introduce new audiences to the undeniable emotion that baseball evokes.”

“The partnership between MLB, Netflix and the Red Sox will have a significant impact on growing the game of baseball,” said Red Sox chairman Tom Werner. “The reach of Netflix is profound and these docuseries are ambitious. One will relive one of the most magical stories that forever changed this franchise, and the other is a truly groundbreaking endeavor that will provide an inside look at the lives and personalities of today’s Red Sox players.”

These series join Netflix’s expanding lineup of sports programming that includes recent docuseries such as “Formula 1: Drive to Survive,” “Full Swing,” “NASCAR: Full Speed,” “Untold,” “Quarterback,” “Tour de France: Unchained,” “Under Pressure: The U.S. Women’s World Cup Team,” “Six Nations: Full Contact” and more. Netflix has partnered with sports leagues including Formula 1, the National Football League (NFL), the PGA TOUR, Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), Fédération internationale de football association (FIFA), World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and more.

2018 World Series Recaps Coming to Disc Dec. 4

The Boston Red Sox victory in the 2018 World Series is being commemorated on Blu-ray and DVD with two releases arriving Dec. 4 from Shout! Factory in association with Major League Baseball.

The first is the annual World Series documentary that summarizes the champions’ run to the title with highlights and interviews from the players, coaches and others involved.

The World Series documentaries are a tradition dating back to 1943, when the U.S. State Department commissioned Major League Baseball to create a recap of Fall Classic highlights for troops stationed overseas during World War II.

The 2018 World Series, available on DVD and as a Blu-ray/DVD combo back with downloadable digital copy, is narrated by Uzo Aduba (“Orange Is the New Black”) and uses a multitude of original high-definition and archival footage to showcase Boston’s run to a ninth World Series title, as they won a team-record 108 wins in the regular season as a prelude to cruising through the postseason with wins over the New York Yankees in the division series in four games, the Houston Astros in the American League Championship Series in five games, and the National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series, also in five games. Extras include regular season highlights, clinching moments, postseason highlights, a “How They Got There” featurette and scenic footage from the duck boats at the World Series parade.

Also available will be The 2018 World Series Collector’s Edition: Boston Red Sox, an eight-disc collection on either Blu-ray or DVD containing the network broadcasts of seven games from Boston’s championship run. In addition to the five-game World Series, the set also includes the final games of both the ALDS and ALCS.

Of note is that the third game of the World Series, won by the Dodgers in 18 innings, is presented on two discs, with nine innings on each. The game lasted more than seven hours to become the longest postseason game in Major League history.

The special edition includes printed game stats and trivia in the packaging, and each game includes four audio options — the English and Spanish network broadcasts, the Red Sox radio feed, and the opposing team’s radio call.

Fox Sports Ups Game 4 World Series Average-Minute Streaming Audience

In the wake of the Boston Red Sox’ Game 4 improbable comeback 9-6 defeat of the Los Angeles Dodgers enroute to winning the 2018 World Series in Game 5 last night (Oct. 28), Fox Sports Digital Media reportedly saw a 29% increase in average-minute streaming video audience compared to last year’s event.

Average-minute data refers to the average number of viewers per minute consuming an online (or TV) channel during a specific period of time.

The average-minute audience reached 175,000 from 135,000 last year for the controversial contest that saw Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts pull starting pitcher Rich Hill in the seventh inning with the lead, only to see the bullpen collapse down the stretch.

Formerly known as News Corp. Digital Media and Fox Interactive Media, Fox Sports Digital Media is a Beverley Hills, Calif.-based subsidiary of Fox Entertainment Group, which operates Fox Sports’ online properties in the United States. It is owned by 21st Century Fox.