Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Buccaneers and HBO's Hard Knocks: Who has control over what you see?

HBO on Wednesday called Hard Knocks "the groundbreaking gold standard of sports reality TV."

But just how real is it? How much control over the content will the Buccaneers have?

At the official Hard Knocks announcement in Tampa, NFL Films director and producer Matt Dissinger cited the trust level his company has built with teams since it was founded 55 years ago. If there's sensitive material, NFL Films and the Bucs are going to talk about it, he said.

"Really what we're looking for is to not let any competitive advantage out," Dissinger said. "I think that over the years we've done a good job of developing the show to the point where we're really not interested in those things. I don't think our audience wants to hear what plays are being installed, and therefore, we really shy away from shooting that kind of stuff."

RELATED STORY: It's official: Bucs and 'charismatic' roster set for 'Hard Knocks'

What about content that doesn't affect competitive balance and is just plain embarrassing? What if the team and NFL Films disagree?

That seldom happens, and if a conflict did arise, NFL Films wants to preserve its relationship with the team, Dissinger said.

"The (NFL) shield is on our paycheck," he said. "We're not TMZ."

Dissinger cited an example from last season's Hard Knocks, which filmed the Rams during training camp. On the first episode, we learned that quarterback Jared Goff didn't know where the sun rises and sets. The team didn't ask NFL Films to cut the scene to protect their No. 1 draft pick, and Goff "himself thought it was hilarious," Dissinger said.

RELATED STORY: Gear up for the Bucs' soap opera with shoulder pads, columnist Tom Jones says

As much as the Bucs and NFL Films talked about trust Wednesday, count on coach Dirk Koetter, or someone on his staff, watching the episodes before they air, just as defensive coordinator Mike Smith did in 2014, when he was coach of the Falcons.

"We have total confidence in HBO, NFL Films, guys that have been doing it a long time, but yeah, (the opportunity to screen episodes in advance) is one thing they provide," Koetter said.

RELATED STORY: Ten things to know about Bucs and 'Hard Knocks'

In other words, what you see this August might be entertaining, but it's not necessarily real. And the Bucs are, at a minimum, tolerating it.

Contact Thomas Bassinger at tbassinger@tampabay.com. Follow @tometrics.

[HBO]

[HBO]

Buccaneers and HBO's Hard Knocks: Who has control over what you see? 04/19/17 [Last modified: Thursday, April 20, 2017 12:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jones: Koetter-Winston exchange highlights latest 'Hard Knocks'

    Bucs

    There are certain things that make HBO's Hard Knocks must-see television.

    Jameis Winston, left, has an exchange with Dirk Koetter that highlights Hard Knocks.
  2. Trevor Plouffe is DFA'd by Rays, Kittredge recalled for now

    Blogs

    INF Trevor Plouffe didn't do much with the opportunity the Rays gave him, and time ran out Tuesday when he was designated for assignment after the game.

    Plouffe hit just .178, with one homer and two RBIs, in 31 games for the Rays, his primary playing time from starting at first or third against lefties.

  3. Rays journal: Offense shows signs of waking up in win over Blue Jays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The drought was so severe that it's still probably too soon to say the Rays are out of it, but scoring a half-dozen runs in Tuesday's 6-5 win over the Blue Jays was another promising sign.

    Corey Dickerson high-fives Wilson Ramos after hitting a solo home run in the third inning, putting the Rays up 2-1.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Blue Jays game

    The Heater

    C Wilson Ramos, coming off right knee surgery, often takes it easy on the bases, though it's not always a good look. But he hustled when he needed to Tuesday and got the Rays a run by beating out a two-out infield single, finishing with three more hits.

  5. Rays are full of ideas they'd like to share when commissioner visits

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Commissioner Rob Manfred is coming to the Trop today. Hmm. Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg will be there to greet him. Hmmmm. And they have a scheduled joint media session. Hmmmmmmmmm.

    Commissioner Rob Manfred isn’t expected to say anything definitive about the Rays’ stadium situation when he visits the team today.