The episodic documentary series, created by Tom Brady, Michael Strahan and Gotham Chopra, examines the transcendent social and cultural impact of sports around the world.
Michael Strahan and Tom Brady
AT&T (No. 4 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list) AUDIENCE Network, a channel that offers original programming only on DIRECTV and AT&T U-Verse, today announced the debut of "Religion of Sports," an original documentary series that examines unique examples of sports' cultural and at times, even spiritual, impact in regions around the world. "Religion of Sports" will premiere on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, exclusively on AUDIENCE Network on both DIRECTV and AT&T U-verse this fall.
New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady, Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Strahan and filmmaker Gotham Chopra are the co-creators of the original sports documentary series, with Christopher Long, Bart Peters, Constance Schwartz-Morini, Martin Desmond Roe and Chris Uettwiller serving as executive producers.
Season 1 of "Religion of Sports" will be comprised of 6 original hour-long episodes that examine unique examples where specific sports profoundly influence societies and cultures in a manner that extends far beyond merely entertainment value.
"Religion of Sports" will take viewers on a weekly global journey, celebrating the transcendent power of sports. This season, viewers will experience the pilgrimage that hundreds of thousands of fans make to NASCAR events to witness men and machines making miracles, the exploration of man's dominion over the earth and the animals at the Calgary Stampede, and the cult-like rise of UFC and mixed martial arts fighting because of its raw and primordial action.
"I'll never forget watching The Catch in Candlestick Park with my dad. I was four years old, in awe of it all," commented Brady. "In a lot of ways, I've dedicated my life to replicating that feeling. Now, playing on the same stage as my childhood idols, I'm fortunate to have a pretty unique perspective on football and the sports world. I can think of no better vehicle than 'Religion of Sports' to share some of what I've learned and dig a little deeper into that feeling, the sort of spiritual experience that sports creates for players and fans alike."
"Growing up in Germany, I never imagined myself to be a professional athlete. At that point, I was a professional fan," added Strahan. "Watching the reaction of the country when Germany won the World Cup back in 1990 showed another level of fandom that I had never seen. Sports can be that void that brings everyone together regardless of any barriers - socio-economic standing, race, and religion. To be a part of this project, 'Religion of Sports,' brings full circle the things that I have learned as a child without even knowing that in some ways, I was having a religious experience. 'Religion of Sports' will be the bridge that connects the passion of religion with the passion of sports."
"'Religion of Sports' is the nexus of everything I love - sports, spirituality, and media. Not only do I believe sports is a religion since they allow us to witness life's most profound and defining principles - success, failure, overcoming adversity, self-sacrifice and human achievement - playing out before our eyes, I think sports is the best religion because it's constantly unfolding," said Chopra. "And to be able to work on this series with iconic athletes like Michael and Tom, my incredibly talented production team and the AUDIENCE Network, is the most exciting thing I've ever tackled creatively."
"Similar to his Father, Gotham's perspective on the world, specifically the sports world, is vastly different than most, so when he came to me with 'Religion of Sports,' I immediately grasped on to the concept and thought it was a perfect fit for AUDIENCE Network," said Christopher Long, senior vice president of Original Content and Production for AT&T. "AUDIENCE is known for its premium, original content that makes people think outside of the box, so we're excited for the debut of this docu-series and believe it will be a success because it's different."
DIRECTV and U-verse customers can watch the AUDIENCE Network on U-verse Channel 1114 and DIRECTV Channel 239. They can also live stream it on the DIRECTV App and U-verse App for smartphones and tablets, directv.com and uverse.com**.
*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.
**Access via computer or app requires qualifying device and data connection. Access to content varies by device, TV plan, and viewing location. Data charges may apply.