NBC Sports launches documentary films division

MUMBAI: NBC Sports Group has launched a new initiative - NBC Sports Films, which will leverage NBC Olympics’ storytelling heritage and personnel to produce sports documentaries that will air across NBC Sports Group’s multiple platforms.


NBC Sports Films will annually produce multiple long-form projects to be presented across NBC, NBCSN, NBC Sports Regional Networks and NBC Sports Digital.


NBC Sports Films’ first project, Center of Attention: The Unreal Life of Derek Sanderson, a one-hour documentary that chronicles the remarkable life of former NHL star and two-time Stanley Cup Champion Derek Sanderson, will premiere on NBCSN on 8 June, following Game 3 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final.


“Storytelling has always been a prominent component of NBC Sports’ coverage of signature events. We are excited to expand those efforts and further serve our audience by providing additional long-form content across all NBC Sports Group platforms. Our debut film, Center of Attention, is a compelling portrait of the extraordinary life of Derek Sanderson, who has lived the highest of highs and the most challenging lows a life in the spotlight can produce,” said NBC Sports Group senior vice president, original productions and creative Mark Levy.


Narrated by Boston native, Primetime Emmy Award-nominee and star of Mad Men John Slattery, Center of Attention follows Sanderson’s journey from humble beginnings, to becoming the highest paid athlete of his time, only to eventually end up homeless, broke and addicted to drugs and alcohol. Through interviews with former teammates, coaches, friends, rivals, and Sanderson himself, viewers get an inside look into his eccentric and reckless life that ultimately features a fourth act fitting of a Hollywood screenplay, as Sanderson is able to get clean and become a respected financial adviser for top athletes.


In his book Crossing The Line, Sanderson said of his life, “In the span of an extraordinary life, I made the National Hockey League, won two Stanley Cup championships, became a trendsetter, gained celebrity status, became a millionaire, descended into addiction, was homeless, almost died, asked for salvation, kicked booze, drugs and cigarettes, climbed back from the wreckage, met an amazing woman who gave us two great sons, taught kids about the evils of addiction, was a broadcaster and now advise athletes about their finances. That’s a lot to pack into one life!”


Center of Attention features interviews with eight members of the Hockey Hall of Fame, including Sanderson’s teammates Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, Rod Gilbert, Gerry Cheevers Brad Park, Bernie Parent and coaches Harry Sinden and Emile Francis.

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