EXCLUSIVE: Netflix is closing in on a deal for a Six Nations series following the success of F1’s Drive to Survive – filming set to begin at the upcoming 2023 Championship as rugby seeks to boost popularity
- The main aim of the series is to develop the appeal of rugby worldwide
- Six Nations is rugby’s biggest annual tournament and has sought to modernize
- It comes after Premiership clubs Worcester and Wasps went out of business
A behind-the-scenes Six Nations series is set to arrive on Netflix next year, with talks between the two sides at an advanced stage as rugby seeks to emulate the success of Formula 1 with the online streaming platform.
Netflix had a major hit with Drive To Survive – a flying wall-to-wall series following Formula 1 drivers, managers and team owners which first aired in 2019 and saw the sport’s popularity rise in a significative way.
And Sportsmail understands that Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff and driver George Russell have taken part in Zoom meetings with rugby players, coaches and managing directors to discuss how Netflix has revolutionized the appeal business of their sport.
Champions are France set to feature in Six Nations behind-the-scenes series on Netflix
Mercedes’ positive record is all the more significant as they declined to participate in the first series of Drive To Survive, which is now gearing up for its fifth edition.
In a season in which two Premiership clubs in Worcester and Wasps have gone out of business and the sport is struggling for popularity around the world, rugby authorities know they must act.
The Six Nations is rugby’s biggest annual tournament and has already looked to modernize in a number of ways this year.
The series could feature the return of Warren Gatland as Wales boss and a new England coach
A behind-the-scenes Netflix series from each of the six competing nations – England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France and Italy – is considered a must if rugby is to remain relevant and compete with its rivals.
CVC Capital Partners, which bought a 14.3% stake in Six Nations for £365million in 2021 and was previously involved in F1, is a key driver.
But rather than focusing on pure financial profit, the Six Nations Netflix series’ main aim is to grow the appeal of rugby not just in Europe, but around the world.
The Drive To Survive series first aired in 2019 and saw F1’s popularity rise significantly
The chief executives of the six unions involved have already given their backing to the filming which will take place at their respective camps during next year’s championship.
But talks with players and coaches, focusing mainly on entry levels, continue, which is where Wolff and Russell – Lewis Hamilton’s team-mate – have recently stepped in.
Netflix and the Six Nations have yet to officially confirm their partnership, but are expected to do so early next year, with northern hemisphere rugby set to take a positive step and join the host of other sports. who have already produced a documentary series.
There should be plenty for the Netflix cameras to do, with England set to have a new head coach in Steve Borthwick for the start of the tournament, while Warren Gatland has also made a dramatic return as the Country boss. Wales.
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff (above) and driver George Russell offered advice
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