NFL Films is all-in with the USFL

By Mike Rosenstein | NJ Advance Media for

Just how legitimate is the relaunch of the USFL?

Aside from having the backing of FOX Sports and NBC, the football startup has the full support of the production arm of the NFL.

NFL Films, based in Mount Laurel, N.J., announced a new project with the eight-team league, which kicks off its 10-week season on Saturday, April 16 when the Birmingham Stallions take on the New Jersey Generals.

The United States Football League (USFL), NFL Films and FOX Sports are teaming up to produce United By Football: A Season in the USFL, a 13-episode behind-the- scenes pass that will capture the fascinating athlete personalities and the unique circumstances they find themselves in, as they pursue their dreams in a new professional spring football league. The one-hour series premiere airs Saturday, April 16 at 6:30 PM ET on FOX leading into the USFL’s inaugural season kickoff game. The primetime matchup pits the New Jersey Generals against the Birmingham Stallions at 7:30 PM ET and will be presented live on FOX, NBC, and Peacock.

The 12 episodes following the season premiere will be 30-minutes in duration. All shows will first air on FOX and will precede most USFL on FOX pregame or game coverage. Each episode will have an encore showing the following week on FS1 and Tubi.

“Everyone at FOX Sports and the new USFL is united by our love for football,” said Bill Richards, EVP Production/Executive Producer, FOX Sports. “And the new league seeks to unite fans across the country who love the game as much as we do. To celebrate professional spring football, we’re giving fans unprecedented access by partnering with NFL Films to tell the stories of USFL players and coaches during the inaugural season.”

United By Football, a FOX Sports original series produced by NFL Films, will take fans behind the curtain of the USFL, starting in Birmingham with the inaugural USFL Player Draft held in February of this year, and moving through training camps and a 10-week regular-season. To help celebrate America’s birthday, the series will conclude with the USFL Championship game in Canton, Ohio, where a winner will be crowned on July 3 in the shadow of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The series, without narration, will be driven by the players and coaches, their journeys, told through the signature storytelling lens of NFL Films. Teaming with NFL Films will help the USFL and FOX Sports deliver a world-class fan experience. Whether in the stadium or watching from home, fans will enjoy USFL football that is old-school physical and fast-paced modern.

“We here at NFL Films could not be more excited and eager to partner with the USFL and FOX Sports on this upcoming series,” said Patrick Kelleher, NFL Films Vice President and Executive Producer. “The opportunity to document the start of a new professional league is incredibly rare, and we look forward to capturing the incredible sights and sounds throughout this inaugural season.

NFL Films cameras will have unfettered access, including robotic cameras in team meeting rooms and players and coaches wearing microphones during practices and games. In addition, embedded crews will be with all eight teams, capturing the daily challenges these elite athletes and experienced coaches face throughout a demanding schedule and high-pressure competition. For some, playing in the new USFL will be their first taste of professional football, while others are fighting for one last shot to pursue their football dreams. Regardless of the goal, players and coaches alike will be “united by football” in their pursuit of individual and team success during the USFL’s inaugural season.

“NFL Films and FOX Sports have well-deserved reputations for stoking passions in all football fans, so we couldn’t imagine a better partnership to tell the inside story of the new USFL,” said Joel Santos, Executive Producer, FOX Sports. “Hundreds of hours of material will be filmed, screened, and edited to produce what will no doubt be seven compelling hours of programming for football fans across America.”

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