As Penn State prepares for its October matchup against Purdue, there will be a few more cameras around the Lasch Building.
Penn State football fans will get to see unrivaled access to their favorite team for one week this season when HBO shows up to Happy Valley to film “24/7 College Football.”
HBO and the Nittany Lions officially announced a partnership for the new show on Wednesday.
Florida, Arizona State and Washington State will be the three other programs showcased on the show.
But why is Penn State willing to be featured on this show, when looking at the program it just doesn’t make sense?
According to Franklin, this show has been in the works for many, many years.
“It’s really been a discussion for the last three years, after talking to people from other programs they felt like it was a positive and the other thing for us is with the ‘Unrivaled’ show that we already do the cameras are already around all the time so between the coaches and the leadership council we didn’t feel like it would be a whole lot different than what we already do,” Franklin said.
Franklin mentioned the cameras being around for the weekly ‘Unrivaled’ show produced by WPSU and Penn State athletics.
And he is right, Penn State does have a weekly show that has access to the locker room and cameras are always around, but there is a big, big difference between ‘24/7 College Football’ and ‘Unrivaled.’
Penn State athletics is involved in the creation of ‘Unrivaled” so if there is a massive fight in practice or something negative happens within the program, it’s not going to make that week’s show.
If you’ve ever watched ‘Hard Knocks’ you should know that HBO thrives on moments like this. Moments that the program would rather the public not see.
That’s the draw to these kinds of show, showing the things you can’t normally see, drama plays a big role in these shows.
Franklin and Penn State are very against drama as a program.
He preaches “1-0 every week, every week is the same and so on.”
When asked a follow up question about what kinds of benefits people from other programs have mentioned, Franklin avoided the question and said it was about “getting our program out there on a national scale.”
There aren’t many more programs in the country on a national scale than Penn State.
Between the history of winning and the intense fan base, Penn State is already on a national scale, so why do this HBO show, a show that seems like it has a lot of risk involved for Penn State?
Well the answer is money and recruiting.
HBO is one of the largest television networks in the world. Just look at shows like Game of Thrones, The Sopranos and Hard Knocks.
This show is going to generate a lot of buzz around the Penn State program, but they don’t need it.
Yes, it will help the Nittany Lions in recruiting as big name recruits surely won’t mind the extra exposure, but Penn State shouldn’t need to do shows like this to gain that buzz.
Penn State’s product on the field is what is going to draw recruits. Winning big games is what’s going to draw recruits, not an HBO show.
The Penn State football program offers very limited media access.
Reporters are aloud to watch 10 minutes of practice every week and are instructed not to film it, to take tight angle photos only as to not show schemes and to not report on any injuries they may see.
But HBO is going to be given full access, they are going to be able to document a whole week of activities “as they meet the demands and challenges leading up to and through game,” Rick Bernstein, executive producer of HBO sports said in a release.