The news that Netflix were going to make a ‘drive to survive’ style documentary on the six nations was met with great excitement by rugby supporters, however rows over the amount of access Netflix will get has cast doubt over the new series.
Any fan of Formula 1 can acknowledge the power streaming services have over growing a sport. ‘Drive to survive’ has dramatically increased the following of F1, particularly in countries such as America.
By showing the audience behind the scenes access and personal interviews, those watching are immediately invested and continue to follow the sport after finishing the series – it was hoped Netflix could have the same effect on rugby.
Introducing hundreds of thousands of new fans to the brilliant spectacle of the six nations, rugby union would undoubtedly increase its following, in a time where there seems to be so much negativity around the sport.
However, in the lead up to this years tournament, the new series has hardly been met with open arms. Warren Gatland expressed his concerns about the documentary, stating that
“I can tell you now that in a rugby environment, when you are talking about creating emotion, the language used isn’t always appropriate, Especially when you’re talking about nations playing each other.
It is reported that Scotland and Italy have given the documentary crew full access, but other nations have been far less keen. Some are even suggesting that Netflix do not know how much access they will be getting – hardly ideal when filming is meant to have started. This access debate has lead to a fierce reaction on social media, with many people accusing rugby of “Getting in its own way”.
The release date of the project has also been criticised – with it being available to the public after the 2023 world cup, there is an argument that by then the series will be outdated.
So, will you be watching?