HBO, NFL Films extend deal for Hard Knocks

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said this offseason that he viewed the HBO reality series Hard Knocks as a “shared obligation,” and that teams should view it as an opportunity.

Now, there will be more opportunities for teams to take him up on it.

HBO and NFL Films announced a “long-term renewal” Thursday to continue to produce the behind-the-scenes training camp documentary.

They’ve had a hard time finding volunteers in the past, but the Bengals are back for a second appearance this year.

According to Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis hasn’t backed down from the pressure inherent to letting cameras inside your operation, 24-7.

“I think the organization is excited to be part of it again,” Lewis said Thursday. “People have asked why? From standpoint of fans they had a great opportunity to get to know the players when we did it four years ago. From standpoint of coaches we have to go out and win games.”

The Bengals went 10-6 in 2009, the last time they let HBO behind the curtain. So while they’re no stranger to the attention, it appears they’re comfortable with it, and eager to use the series as a way to market what should be a very good team this year.

And if it works, it might not be so hard to find people to let them in next time.

50 responses to “HBO, NFL Films extend deal for Hard Knocks

  1. The Washington Redskins are the most popular team in football and I’m GLAD Chief Shanahan put the clamps on HBO wanting the Redskins to be the team to headline Hard Knocks. Only loser franchises like the Ravens, Cowboys, Jags etc. do this show because they are unpopular and worthless. #BurgundyandGoldStandard

  2. I’d rather see the Jets than any other team, but the show is fun to watch so I’m happy enough with another round of the Bengals.

  3. honestly, i don’t understand why teams don’t do it. granted, last year the dolphins went 7-9, but they were a much improved team. the jets went 11-5, bengals 10-6. those were the last 3 teams to do it and it obviously didn’t hurt them during the season.

  4. Well you have to be courageous to take on the cameras. It just goes to show you how many NFL teams are truly comfortable with themselves. It’s an embarrassment for me in Detroit having read the comments from Detroit officials about their reluctance to be on the show. They are scared and nervous because they can’t actually have confidence in their own executive/coaching staffs. I have been complaining about these people for a decade, and when called out what do they do? They don’t step up to the plate, they don’t win, and they have an indefensible position with regard to how they manage this team.

  5. Last time the Bengals were on Hard Knocks I was convinced they were going to the super bowl that year. If anything, it made them look great.

    They still did very well that year, but it was slightly disappointing from the high hopes it built for fans of the show.

  6. Anything can BECOME a distraction if you let it. But I don’t 100% see how having cameras around in the preseason affects a coaches or players ability to win games in week 15.

  7. Why not make it 90 minutes long an episode and have either the two Super Bowl teams from the previous year… Or the two conference championship losing teams do it.

    Then you get both an AFC and NFC look with either the Champion or teams who got “this close”. Good drama.

    Of course this means we’d never see the Lions or Browns on the series.

    I’m just sayin’.

  8. Its unconscionable that any team who does not have a waiting list for season tickets would say NO to Hardknocks.

    Its good television and the players seam to enjoy the attention – Im sure it raises the level in practice when you know any mistake could be featured on HBO.

    If I were an owner or GM I would try to get on every year –

    ESPECIALLY if you suck, because you have nothing to lose!

  9. The Bengals are fun to laugh at, but the Browns would have been funnier.

  10. I love this show!! Does not matter who is on it. Wish the Skins would do it, but I understand why they are not. Other than the Skins, I would love to see the Jets back on. Seemed like they had a lot of fun. HTTR!!

  11. I remember the year the Ravens did Hard Knocks with Goose, Ray Lewis and Sharpe. You knew players and coaches personalities to a degree you would never know unless you followed the team for years on end watching interviews and reading papers. More NFL teams should be doing this show. In the end football is entertainment for us fans of whichever team we follow.

  12. I think Andy Dalton will use this opportunity to silence his critics. Granted he can’t prove them wrong until they start winning games, but he can show people how dedicated he is. People perform better under the spotlight. The team will have a lot of focus with extra eyes on them

  13. It’s great for parole officers, because they’ll know where their parolees are.

  14. bmorepositive123:

    It’s about cowardice and insecurity really. And when you have decision makers for your NFL team that feel this way, I say you should replace them for real football men that are extremely confident that they know what they are doing and they are proud of their program. Just not many teams can step and say that’s the truth of the matter. Quite sad and pathetic.

  15. joetoronto says: Jul 18, 2013 1:12 PM

    “Now we can watch Bungal employees bring their own pens and pencils to work.”

    We can also watch the development of the players the Bengals stole from Joakland in the Carson Palmer trade/debacle.

  16. Again, to keep it fair for everybody, a team that finishes at a defined draft slot should automatically be selected for Hard Knocks. That way we dont have to worry about who is going to decline it every year. Should be a team that just misses the playoffs. Dont want to have the worst team being on there either.

  17. Only Americas team gets the ratings, too bad we’ve been there and done that.


  18. logicalvoicesays says:
    Jul 18, 2013 12:50 PM
    The Washington Redskins are the most popular team in football and I’m GLAD Chief Shanahan put the clamps on HBO wanting the Redskins to be the team to headline Hard Knocks. Only loser franchises like the Ravens, Cowboys, Jags etc. do this show because they are unpopular and worthless. #BurgundyandGoldStandard

    SO many wrong things in this:
    Let’s address the inaccuracies in this statement”
    1( Redskins ARE NOT even close to being the most popular team in the NFL. In fact they are not even in the top 5. Cowboys, Raiders. Patriots, Giants, Jets are without a doubt more “popular” than the Redskins. Meaning someone who does not watch football would know those names more they would the Redskins.
    2) How in the world can you all the Ravens a loser team? THE WORLD CHAMPS! They won the superbowl! You realize how stupid you sound right?

  19. By the way I love Hard Knocks and every single one of you wish your team was on Hard Knocks,. You are lying if you say you wouldn’t want to watch YOUR favorite team on Hard Knocks. Why wouldn’t you? It makes no sense

  20. Has anyone compiled the win – loss record of the teams that have been on Hard Knocks? Have any made the Play-offs? Won play-off games? Just curious.

  21. Anyone know when they plan on selling prior seasons of Hard Knocks on iTunes or on DVD? I’ve searched the Internet, but they don’t appear to be for sale…

  22. I like Hard Knocks, but I am tired of these crappy teams on it all the time. When it started we got Baltimore and Dallas and it was great, but the quality has really gone down since then. Unless the NFL forces the marquee teams to participate I don’t see much of a point in watching this. I think it would be neat if the NFL made the Superbowl winning team do it each year.

  23. The Indianapolis Colts are the best team in Football, ever! The best Quarterback in the World is Andrew Luck! With that said, if they did hard knocks on the Colts the ratings would be through the roof and other teams might learn to prepare like a champion. I think they keep doing hard knocks with the BeenGals because that is the only way anyone can watch that team. I absolutely thought the worst season of hard knocks was with Baltimorgue. Do you know how Baltimore was created? On the seventh day when God was resting, he had to take a #2 and wallah, out came Baltimore.

  24. Um the most Popular teams in the NFL hmmmm I’d say the Packers, Steelers, Pats, and the Cowgirls….That’s coming from a Redskin Fan HTTR!

  25. I’d love to see the Pats on..and I’m glad that BB will never let that haoppen. The NFL Films/NFL network special on him was enough. I love the behind the scenes insight but its a distraction. The Jets and Ravens seasons were the best. Last year was horrible..besides Chad getting cut. –

  26. These guys live in a fishbowl anyway. Why not let another camera in and have a multi-week promo of your franchise on worldwide TV where viewers begin liking players on the team? And you get paid.

  27. The teams that agree to do this show would fit in nicely on BS reality shows. I would be greatly disappointed if the team I rooted for agreed to do this show. I’m surprised the Colts aren’t doing the show since their owner acts like a 15 year old on twitter.

  28. Never watched before this seasons reruns. I must say I enjoyed the Ravens and the Jets. The Cowboys and the Bengals no so much. I love Marvin Lewis but was not a fan of the owner/GM and how the handled cuts. If the Ravens can’t repeat and history supports not, I hope Marvin is finally successful. He’s a class act and will be always a Raven. The AFC North is the best division in football having all four teams coming from small city, small market, hard working blue collar best fans in all of football.

  29. “Hard Knocks” made Rex Ryan famous. He’s more well known for being the male equivalent of “Dexter’s” Debra Morgan, for his creative swear words, than he is for winning anything in the NFL.

  30. It seems to be the same teams over and over again. Need to come up with some kind of rule to determine the team.

    Like the team with most off season arrest, must be on hard Knocks. (Probably still be the Bengals)

  31. The Indianapolis Colts are the best team in Football, ever! The best Quarterback in the World is Andrew Luck! It really showed when he came to Baltimore in the playoffs. 5 dropped int’s. The game was a bigger blowout than it looked. Ravens will be in the playoffs. Colts players will be watching.

  32. I think the top 5 teams in terms of fans interest in no particular order would be


  33. I am a bengals fan and will enjoy it again. But other teams I would like to see. In no particular order.

    Detroit, Arizona, Atlanta, Houston, New Orleans, Seattle, and Tampa.

  34. This is good for both parties, but the Bengals were picked during the wrong year.

    It has been four years since the last appearance and that is enough time for us to have them still in our memories.

    Like quite a few teams they did it because they felt that they needed an image rehabilitation. When you really Look at it this is more of a national image rehabilitation show rather than a self-promotion show. Last time I checked the Dolphins were not filling up the stadium because of “hard knocks”.

    They had a combination of relevance and image issues, particularly with Jeff Ireland.

    If there was a team that needed it it would be the Detroit Lions. They had the arrest issue last year and Ndamakong Suh needs an image makeover as well. Plus they don’t have a good reputation when it comes to on-field discipline. More than likely there are more people who feel that the Lions have more on-field discipline issues than the Bengals have image issues.

    If not, Why not the Arizona Cardinals? They do not have image problems, with the exception of Tyrann Mathieu, But their level of relevance needs to be greater and Bruce Arians is a very underrated quote machine.

  35. I’m tired of the Bengals ….. Boring TV… The Patriots need to do this show . Other interesting teams would be the Seahawks , Falcons and the JETS again ……

  36. Most teams want no part of this circus but If it is a shared responsibility then each team will be on the show once every 32years. So the next time the ravens are up is in 20 years

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