NBCSN said it had lured Embassy Row President Michael Davies and writer Roger Bennett to its fold to produce soccer program “Men In Blazers” for TV and digital outlets in an attempt to burnish the network’s investment in English Premier League soccer.
The two had previously been contributing soccer commentary to ESPN during recent World Cup coverage and contributing a soccer-related podcast to the Walt Disney unit’s Grantland outlet.
“Men In Blazers” will air on NBCSN and stream on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports Live Extra app weekly on Mondays beginning in the first month of the Premier League season. The show will follow NBC Sports Group’s weekend Premier League coverage. Bennett will also serve as a special contributor on television, providing on-site features from the U.K. and making monthly studio appearances alongside Premier League Live host Rebecca Lowe. He will also contribute long-form features to NBCSports.com.
A special, digital-only version of “Men in Blazers” will be available on Friday of every Premier League match week. The videos, along with their weekly podcast, will be housed in a “Men in Blazer”s section on NBCSports.com. The videos will be distributed on the web and via mobile devices through ProSoccerTalk, and various content alliance partners including Yahoo! Sports and Soccerly.
All “Men in Blazers” content will be produced at Embassy Row, a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment, where Davies continues to serve as president.
The program launch on NBCSN highlights the growing interest in soccer. Fusion, a start-up cable network owned by Univision and Walt Disney, made a program called “Soccer Gods” part of its primetime lineup during the span of the recent World Cup contest.