Sports

Atlanta Falcons Agree To Be Featured On HBO’s “Hard Knocks”

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(Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

(Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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Flowery Branch, GA – The Atlanta Falcons will be featured on HBO Sports’ award-winning documentary series HARD KNOCKS, the club announced on Thursday.

The Falcons, HBO Sports, and NFL Films will team up for an all-access, behind the scenes look at what it takes to make it in the National Football League when HARD KNOCKS: Training Camp with the Atlanta Falcons debuts on August 5.

The sports-based reality series kicks off its ninth season, presented in HD on Tuesday, Aug. 5 (10 p.m. ET), exclusively on HBO. Subsequent hour-long episodes debut on Tuesdays at the same time, with an encore replay every Wednesday in August at 11:00 p.m., culminating in the Sept. 2 season finale.

“We are excited about the opportunity to give our fans a behind the scenes look at what it takes to prepare an NFL team for the rigors of a 16-game regular season and beyond,” said Falcons Owner & Chairman Arthur M. Blank. “This marks the first time that our franchise will be featured on HARD KNOCKS and we look forward to showcasing our great players and coaches to football fans all across America.”

The award-winning documentary will focus on the daily lives and routines of Falcons players and coaches and showcase the club as it prepares to do battle in the always competitive NFC South Division of the NFL.

“We are thrilled that the ninth edition of the HARD KNOCKS series will spotlight the Atlanta Falcons,” said Ken Hershman, President of HBO Sports. “It’s exciting to feature a team, a franchise and a city for the first time on HARD KNOCKS. We are grateful to Head Coach Mike Smith and the entire organization for agreeing to participate and look forward to what we expect to be one of the few summertime programs that is truly appointment TV and we can’t wait for the premiere on August 5th.”

Additionally, HBO will chronicle an intriguing mix of high-profile veterans, including Pro Bowlers QB Matt Ryan, WR Roddy White, WR Julio Jones, and S William Moore, along with free agents and rookie hopefuls throughout training camp and the preseason. Each week, players will experience drills, meetings and fun, while struggling to prove they have what it takes to make the team and make their mark in the NFL.

Since 2008, the Falcons have recorded a .625 winning percentage and have qualified for the NFC playoffs four times (2008, 2010, 2011, and 2012). During the same time span, the Falcons posted a 13-3 record twice (2010 and 2012) and are one of the NFL’s most dominant teams at home, posting a winning percentage of .750 at the Georgia Dome (36-12).

“We are looking forward to connecting with our fans across the country as the program chronicles our 2014 training camp,” said Falcons Head Coach Mike Smith. “The series will give fans a behind the scenes look at the competition between players as we build our roster and prepare for the season. We are looking forward to the start of camp in late July.”

A 30-person NFL Films crew will be at the Falcons’ training camp at team headquarters in Flowery Branch, Ga., shooting more than 1,500 hours of video over the course of the five-week series. Camera and sound crews will be given unencumbered access to the players’ and coaches’ meeting rooms, training rooms, dormitories and practice fields.

Two summers ago, HARD KNOCKS moved its premiere night to Tuesday and the results have been a resounding success. The five-part series on the playoff-bound Cincinnati Bengals last August averaged 3.6 million viewers per episode.

“We’re excited to work with the Atlanta Falcons and HBO Sports on HARD KNOCKS,” said Howard Katz, COO of NFL Films and NFL Senior Vice President of Broadcasting. “We want to thank Arthur Blank, Thomas Dimitroff, Mike Smith and the entire Falcons’ organization for the trust they have in NFL FILMS by allowing us unprecedented access into their training camp. The Falcons present numerous storylines with a veteran coaching staff, star players and newcomers all coming together to attempt to “Rise Up” back to the top of the NFC.”

The Falcons begin the 2014 NFL regular season at home at the Georgia Dome on September 7, when they host NFC South Division rival the New Orleans Saints.  Kickoff is set for 1:00 pm.

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