October, Berman acquire sport's TV rights
The feathers will fly — or at least, that’s what producers Eddie October and Al Berman are hoping.
Less than a month after ESPN agreed to air the Rock Paper Scissors League championship, October and Berman have snatched up worldwide television rights to another “sport” based in childhood memories: the Pillow Fight League.
The TV-friendly twist: PFL’s roster of players boasts a slew of attractive females, many of whom compete while wearing skimpy uniforms. That will be one of the key selling points as October and Berman begin pitching nets later this month on the idea of a PFL skein.
“I’m gay, and even I know that girls pillow fighting is sexy,” October told Daily Variety.
October, former showrunner for “Later With Greg Kinnear” and Roseanne Barr’s syndie gabber, said the PFL caught his interest just a few months ago, when he heard some of the pillow fighters being interviewed. After seeing some matches, he teamed up with Berman — whose live TV experiences include exec producing “The Early Show” and “Rock Star: INXS”– to pursue the TV rights.
In addition to the sex appeal of the PFL, “It also plays out on other levels,” October said. “These are real fights, and the girls are totally kick-ass girls.”
There’s also a huge camp factor, with contestants assuming wrestling-like alter egos: Sarah Bellum, Boozy Susie, Lynn Somnia, Betty Clock’er. The PFL’s motto: Fight like a girl.
Berman said PFL matches are “a return to simple pleasures.
“We all grew up pillow fighting,” he said. “We’re taking that experience, spicing it up and letting it loose on America.”
While a male-skewing net like Spike would seem to be an obvious home for the PFL, October believes the sport could have “appeal across the board.
“The women in the PFL are empowered,” he said.
As played in the PFL, pillow fighting is a contact sport — although all contact must be made via pillow. Contestants can win by pinning their opponent within five minutes, but if that doesn’t happen, a panel of three judges determines the victor using a point system that grades style, stamina and (no joking) “eye of the tiger.”
No word on who might judge the televised games, but a celeb panel is a possibility.
PFL was co-founded by musician Stacey P. Case, who’ll serve as co-exec producer of any broadcasts that result from the rights deal.
October’s other credits include “Tommy Lee Goes to College” and VH1’s “Bands Reunited.” His shingle recently acquired U.S. rights to U.K. format “How Long Will You Live” and Belgium quizzer “Top of the Tables.”
Berman has produced a slew of live finales for “Survivor,” “The Apprentice” and “The Biggest Loser.”
Deals for October and Berman were brokered by CAA and Sherry Berman, respectively.