Apple TV+ to Debut Sports Doc Series ‘Greatness Code’ July 10

Apple TV+ July 10 will exclusively debut globally the documentary series “Greatness Code,” featuring such top athletes as LeBron James and Tom Brady.

The short-form unscripted series spotlights untold stories from the top athletes in the world. The first season includes seven episodes, each examining a pivotal moment that defined an athlete’s career. Athletes profiled in season one include:

  • four-time NBA MVP, three-time NBA champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist LeBron James;
  • six-time Super Bowl champion and four-time Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady;
  • Olympic gold medalist and co-captain of the US Women’s National Soccer Team Alex Morgan;
  • record-holding Olympic gold medalist snowboarder Shaun White;
  • world’s fastest man and eight-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt;
  • five-time Olympic gold medalist and 15-time world champion swimmer Katie Ledecky; and
  • 11-time world champion surfer Kelly Slater.

 

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“Greatness Code” is a co-production between sports content platforms Religion of Sports, which is co-founded by Gotham Chopra, Tom Brady and NFL Hall of Famer Michael Strahan, and Uninterrupted, founded by LeBron James and Maverick Carter.

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The series is directed by Chopra, who also executive produces through Religion of Sports, and executive produced by Maverick Carter via Uninterrupted. Ameeth Sankaran also serves as executive producer through Religion of Sports, and Devin Johnson executive produces via Uninterrupted.

Starz Bowing New LeBron James-Produced Docu-Series ‘Warriors of Liberty City’ Early on Digital

Lionsgate-owned Starz Sept. 4 announced that the premiere episode of the new unscripted six-part series “Warriors of Liberty City” will be available on the Starz App and VOD platforms Sept. 9 — one week ahead of its linear pay-TV debut on Sept. 16 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Each subsequent episode will be available across all digital and on-demand platforms one week prior to the linear airing.

“Warriors of Liberty City” explores Liberty City, a marginalized neighborhood in Miami that is arguably the NFL’s largest, most successful football factory.

The series follows a season with the Liberty City Warriors, a youth football program founded by an unlikely mentor: hip-hop pioneer Luther Campbell, better known as “Uncle Luke.”

Before Liberty City native Barry Jenkins won his Oscar award for Moonlight, the city was best known for producing some of the biggest names in football, including Devonta Freeman, Antonio Brown, Duke Johnson and Teddy Bridgewater.

Beyond football, the Liberty City Warriors Optimist Club is a youth organization that sponsors sports teams, dance, cheerleading, tutoring and academic support. Life, like football, is a contact sport, and for the kids and family of Liberty City, being a Warrior holds the key to both.

“Warriors of Liberty City” made its world premiere with the first episode at the 2018 SXSW Festival in the “episodic” category, making it the first documentary series to be accepted into the category.

The series is created by Evan Rosenfeld, with LeBron James, Maverick Carter and Jamal Henderson for SpringHill Entertainment (Starz Original Series “Survivor’s Remorse,” “The Wall”); Pam Healey, Dan Peirson and Ted Skillman for Shed Media (“Genius Junior,” “Who Do You Think You Are?”), a division of Warner Bros. Unscripted & Alternative Television; and Luther Campbell also serving as executive producers.

Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker and screenwriter Andrew Cohn (Night School, Medora) co-directed the documentary series alongside Rosenfeld.

Starz recently made the first two episodes of the 10-part docuseries “America to Me” available on its app and VOD platforms with subsequent episodes hitting the platforms a week prior to their debut on the Starz linear channel.

 

NBA Finals Streaming Up 21% From 2017

The Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers may be meeting in the NBA Finals for the fourth consecutive year, but streaming video interest in the matchup is stronger than ever.

New data from video measurement firm Conviva found a 30.3% increase Game 2 (June 3) streaming in the Bay Area and 119% increase in Cleveland compared with Game 2 in 2017.

Golden State won the contest 122-103 in Oakland, Calif., to take a two-game lead in the best-of-seven series that continues June 6 in Cleveland. The Warriors hold the identical won/loss advantage over the Cavaliers going into Game 3 as they did last year.

Overall, Game 2 only saw a 2.14% increase in video streams compared to Game 2 2017. Combining Game 1 and Game 2 2018, streaming saw a 21.42% increase over the first two games in 2017.

Peak concurrent streaming — the number of concurrent streams at the exact same moment — was up 36.2% for Game 2 this year compared with Game 2 in 2017.

Notably, Game 2 was viewed on 12.43% fewer unique devices than Game 2 of 2017.

The 2018 NBA Finals are available to stream on Sling TV, YouTube TV, PlayStation Vue and DirecTV Now, in addition to the Watch ESPN app.

Hulu Pulls Ads From ‘The Laura Ingraham Show’

Hulu has pulled TV commercials from “The Laura Ingraham Show” on Fox News following the conservative host’s tweets mocking a high school student survivor of the recent Parkland, Fla., shooting.

“We’d like to confirm that we are no longer advertising on Laura Ingraham’s and are monitoring all of our ad placements carefully,” Hulu said in a March 29 Twitter post.

The subscription streaming video service, co-owned by The Walt Disney Co., 21st Century Fox, Comcast and Time Warner, joined a growing group of advertisers (including TripAdvisor, Expedia, Wayfair and Johnson & Johnson) that have pulled spots.

The controversy involves David Hogg, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, who survived the Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) mass shooting where gunman (and former student) Nikolas Cruz allegedly killed 14 students and three teachers with an assault weapon.

Hogg, along with other students, has become a face of the tragedy and emerging gun control activist, speaking out on national media. He is a founding member, along with 19 other students, of the “Never Again MSD” advocacy group that has spearheaded movements against gun violence, including the March 24 “March for Our Lives” demonstration that attracted hundreds of thousands of protesters nationwide.

Ingraham, along with other conservatives in the media, have criticized Hogg as a mouthpiece of a liberal agenda aimed at curbing gun rights they claim are guaranteed under the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution.

But Ingraham went one step further, attacking Hogg personally on social media.

The former MSNBC host, who worked as a speech writer for President Reagan, clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and guest-hosted the former “The O’Reilly Factor” on Fox News, called Hogg a “whiner” for not getting accepted into UCLA, despite reportedly having a 4.1 grade point average.

“David Hogg Rejected By Four Colleges To Which He Applied and whines about it. (Dinged by UCLA with a 4.1 GPA…totally predictable given acceptance rates.),” Ingraham tweeted, linking it to an online story about four universities that reportedly rejected Hogg’s college admissions application.

“In our view, these statements focused on a high school student, cross the line of decency. As such, we have made a decision to stop advertising on that program,” a spokesperson for TripAdvisor.com said in a statement.

Home furnishing company WayFair, in a statement, said it supports open dialogue and debate on issues – with restrictions.

“The decision of an adult to personally criticize a high school student who has lost his classmates in an unspeakable tragedy is not consistent with our values. We do not plan to continue advertising on this particular program,” the ecommerce company said in a statement.

Ingraham – who courted controversy last month criticizing NBA superstar LeBron James’ comment about President Trump not understanding black people – made no comment of the Hogg controversy on her March 29 show and has apologized for her comment, tweeting:

“Any student should be proud of a 4.2 GPA —incl. @DavidHogg111. On reflection, in the spirit of Holy Week, I apologize for any upset or hurt my tweet caused him or any of the brave victims of Parkland. For the record, I believe my show was the first to feature David…”