The NBC Sports Playoff Machine was not going to be a success.
Its debut had been delayed for a year.
Its ratings had declined.
It wasn’t even a TV show.
And now it was back.
As the playoff machine returned to its home at the ESPN, it had to figure out how to do something that wasn’t a scripted program.
So it decided to do the opposite of what the NFL’s broadcast teams do: It turned it into a video game.
This was a massive leap forward.
“We were looking for something that would be fun,” said Scott McCloud, NBC Sports’ vice president of programming, in a recent interview.
NBC executives said they wanted to be able to tell stories from all angles, from the front row, to the sideline, to even the back.
“The thing about that, especially in this case, is it’s just about creating a story,” McCloud said.
“We wanted to have a sense of how the story was being told in the studio.
That was a big thing for us.”
And it worked.
The series has been watched more than 300 million times on Netflix and will be renewed for a second season on the network.
“It’s been a tremendous success,” said NBC Sports VP of programming David Gerrold.
“And it’s a big deal to be back at this level.”
NBC will also have a new television show called “Tune In” to debut on Tuesday, Nov. 16.
The first episode will be about the 2016 college football playoff and will air on NBC at 8 p.m. Eastern.