Sky Documentaries commissions thrilling European Super League documentary with exclusive access

Tuesday 29 June 2021

Sky Documentaries today announces a Sky Original feature length documentary that will explore one of the most memorable sagas in recent footballing history, the rise and rapid fall of the European Super League (ESL). Produced by award-winning production company, Fulwell 73 (Sunderland ‘Til I Die, The Class of 92, I Am Bolt), in association with Sky Studios, the 1x90 minute film will air on Sky Documentaries and streaming service NOW later this year.

The documentary will chart the dramatic events of the days surrounding the announcement of the ESL in April 2021, which proposed a new annual international competition between the biggest clubs in the game, including 12 founding members from the English Premier League, Italy’s Serie A and Spain’s La Liga. In the 72-hour period between its announcement and subsequent collapse, the ESL dominated the headlines and prompted reactions around the world from national governments, football’s governing bodies, other clubs, players, managers, pundits and fans.

The film will tell the story of the ESL with an exclusive inside look at the events and decisions that led to the landmark announcement and spanning not just those turbulent few days following the statement but also recent footballing history to give context to its inception. Supported by archive footage, the film will feature first-hand interviews with figures from the 12 founding clubs, global footballing leagues and federations, players and fans themselves.

The Sky Original documentary has been commissioned for Sky Documentaries by Zai Bennett, Managing Director of Content for Sky UK and Ireland, Poppy Dixon, Director of Documentaries and Factual and Jamie Morris, Director of Programmes. The documentary is directed by Carl Hindmarch. From Fulwell 73, Leo Pearlman, Gabe Turner, Ben Turner and Richard Thompson will all serve as Executive Producers on the project with Richard Cooke as Producer. Poppy Dixon will also serve as executive producer for Sky UK. NBCUniversal Global Distribution will handle international sales of the film on behalf of Sky Studios.

Poppy Dixon, Director of Documentaries and Factual Commissioning at Sky, said: “The announcement and disbanding of the European Super League became one of the most volatile 72 hours in football history. Football fans and non-fans alike debated, protested and trended this game-changing decision around the world before watching its rapid collapse. When Fulwell pitched us the film as a high stakes thriller with exclusive access from inside the story, we knew this would be a brilliant fit for Sky Documentaries”.

Richard Thompson, Head of Music & Sport – Features and Series at Fulwell 73, said: “The story of the European Super League gripped the world and you didn’t have to be a football fan to understand its significance and what it meant to the sport, clubs and fans across the globe. We’re excited to hear first-hand from those involved to learn about the stories behind the headlines and bring this truly fascinating tale to life.”

Sky Documentaries is the home of world-class, real life stories from award-winning and emerging film makers, including new Sky Original documentaries, as well as acquisitions from HBO, SHOWTIME® and beyond. With a mix of feature length documentaries and limited series that challenge, provoke and entertain, the channel explores a broad range of topics from sport and real-world controversies through to biographies of some of the world’s most famous and infamous people.

Fulwell 73 has been behind some of the most critically and commercially successful sports TV series and films of recent years. Its Euro 2020 companion show Crouchy’s Year Late Euros is airing now on BBC One and it is currently in production on the latest instalment of Amazon’s All or Nothing series following Juventus. Other recent shows include Peter Crouch: Save Our Summer and Jack Whitehall’s Sporting Nation (both for BBC One) and Netflix hit Sunderland ‘Til I Die. Its sports features credits include The Class of ’92 and I Am Bolt for Universal Pictures and In the Hands of the Gods for Lionsgate.

For further information, please contact: hephzibah.kwakyesaka@sky.uk / jessica.gray@sky.uk

Notes to editors

About Sky

Sky is Europe’s leading media and entertainment company and is proud to be part of the Comcast group. Across six countries, we connect our 23.4 million customers to the best entertainment, sports, news and arts including our own award-winning original content.

Our technology, including the market leading Sky Q, connects people to everything they love – with entertainment from Sky TV, Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video and BBC iPlayer, and apps like Spotify, YouTube, BBC Sounds, Highbrow, Peloton, Fiit, and more, in one place, easy. Our streaming service NOW brings viewers all the enjoyment of Sky with the flexibility of a contract-free service. Through our new B2B broadband provider, Sky Connect, we offer superfast broadband with business-grade 4G back-up to small businesses in the UK.

Building on the success of Sky Originals like Chernobyl, Gangs of London and Brassic, we are doubling our investment in original content by 2024 through Sky Studios. Sky News provides impartial and trustworthy journalism for free, Sky Arts is the UK’s only dedicated free-to-air arts channel making the arts accessible for everyone and Sky Sports, our leading sports broadcasting service, brings customers some of the biggest and best global sporting events from the Premier League to Formula 1 and everything in-between. Our new TV and movie studio, Sky Studios Elstree, which will open in 2022, is expected to create over 2,000 new jobs and generate an additional £3 billion of production investment in the UK over the first five years.

We believe that we can be a force for good in the communities in which we operate. We’re committed to being Europe’s first net zero carbon entertainment company by 2030 and we’re proud to be a Principal Partner and Media Partner of COP26. We take pride in our approach to diversity and inclusion: we’ve been recognised by The Times and Stonewall for our commitment to diversity and we’ve set ambitious 2025 targets to continue to increase diversity and representation.  We’re also committed to investing £30million across our markets over three years to improve our approach to diversity and inclusion, and to tackle racial injustice.

About NOW  

NOW is the home of brilliant entertainment. We’re one of the UK’s leading streaming services with critically acclaimed shows, new and exclusive movies, unmissable sport and epic kids TV – all with no contract. Join in with an Entertainment, Cinema, Sports, or hayu Membership to stream instantly across TV, mobile, desktop and over 60 other devices. Watch on the go and even offline with our app by downloading shows and movies.

Entertainment Members can enjoy critically acclaimed dramas, documentaries and comedies, Emmy award-winning shows, the best of HBO and exclusive Sky Originals. Cinema Members can discover over 1000 brilliant movies, from the latest blockbusters and classic favourites and a new premiere every day. Sports Members cheer on unmissable Premier League, international cricket, F1, golf and more – all live, across 11 Sky Sports channels.

Plus, members can enhance their experience with NOW Boost – that’s full 1080p HD, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and streaming on up to 3 devices at once, ad-free in VOD.

For super-fast broadband, members can enjoy a contract-free connection with a NOW Brilliant Broadband, Fab Fibre or Super Fibre Membership.

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About Sky Studios

Sky Studios brings to screen unique stories from the very best talent in Europe.

We develop, produce and fund original drama, comedy and documentary for Sky’s 24m customers and beyond, with 52 scripted shows already in production. Building on the success of critically-acclaimed Sky originals including Emmy-winning Chernobyl, Bafta-winning Patrick Melrose and international hits Babylon Berlin and Riviera, Sky Studios is the new creative home of Sky originals, such as The Third Day with Jude Law, ZeroZeroZero from the makers of Gomorrah and The New Pope directed by Academy Award-winning director Paolo Sorrentino.

We’re an agile Studio, seeking out the best untold stories from new voices while working in creative partnership with today’s best writers, producers and on-screen talent to bring viewers stories they wouldn’t find anywhere else.

With commissioning talent and production capability across the UK, Germany and Italy, we understand local tastes across Europe better than anyone else and have plans to more than double our investment in original content by 2024, fully supported and backed by Comcast NBC Universal.

We’re also developing a new TV and movie studio, Sky Studios Elstree, which is expected to lead to the creation of over 2,000 new jobs and generate an additional £3 billion of production investment in UK creative sector in the first five years alone.

Sky Studios invests in the cultural economy and global production sector with equity stakes in nine production companies in the UK and the US, including Great British Bake-Off creator Love Productions, and the premiere reality crime producer in the US, Jupiter Entertainment, creator of long-running hit Snapped. Sky Studios has invested in high quality factual specialists Blast Films and True North Productions; entertainment and format expert Znak & Co (US & UK); natural history producer True to Nature; drama producers The Lighthouse and Longboat Pictures; and growth businesses Sugar Films, Chrysalis Vision, and Talos Films (US).

Sky Studios launched in June 2019. The senior leadership team is Chief Executive Officer Gary Davey, Chief Commercial Officer Jane Millichip, Chief Finance Officer Caroline Cooper, Director of Drama UK Cameron Roach, Director of Comedy UK Jon Mountague, Director Original Production Sky Italia Nils Hartmann, and Director Original Productions Sky Deutschland Marcus Ammon.

About Fulwell 73

Fulwell 73, set up in 2005 by lifelong friends Ben Winston, Leo Pearlman, Ben Turner and Gabe Turner, strives to make top-quality television and film productions. In January 2017 James Corden joined as a fifth full partner. The company first came to the public’s attention in 2007 with the release of its debut feature In the Hands of the Gods (Lionsgate). Since then, Fulwell 73’s theatrical film releases include The Class of 92 (Universal Pictures); the huge box office hit One Direction 3D: This is Us (Sony/Columbia) and I Am Bolt (Universal). Fulwell 73 is currently in production on its first studio feature film Cinderella for Sony Pictures, based on an original idea from James Corden, written and directed by Kay Cannon, starring Camila Cabello, Idina Menzel, Billy Porter and Pierce Brosnan. Recent television productions include Sunderland ‘Til I Die (Netflix), Peter Crouch: Save Our Summer (BBC), Jack Whitehall’s Sporting Nation (BBC), hit documentary Bros: After the Screaming Stops (BBC), Carpool Karaoke: The Series (Apple TV), Auschwitz Untold: In Colour (Channel 4) and the hit Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special (BBC One). It is also the producer of multi-Emmy and Critics Choice award winning, The Late Late Show with James Corden, with CBS Television Studios. For more information visit www.fulwell73.com

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