Today, London Rollergirls announced that the Extreme Sports Channel had commissioned a thirteen-episode roller derby series focussing on the league’s 2013 season.
Production is starting imminently, and the series will comprise 13 half-hour “factual entertainment” episodes. The plan is for it to be broadcast towards the end of 2013, though dates have not yet been set. The Extreme Sports channel currently broadcasts to 30 million satellite and cable TV subscribers in 67 countries across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. There are currently no plans in place for it to be broadcast elsewhere.
Tim MacMullen, Extreme Sports Channel’s general manager says: “As soon as we saw the event and met the women involved, we knew that Roller Derby was a perfect fit for the channel. We are delighted to be bringing this young and exhilarating contact sport to TV viewers in the UK and Europe for the very first time.”
The series is being produced by Rampage Studio. “Many production companies have approached us over the years,” says London’s Raw Heidi, “but none with a brief that was so closely in keeping with our values as a league and a definite editorial slant about the sport and the skaters and UK roller derby.”
“It’s been a relatively long process making sure Rampage and LRG were the right fit for one another,” Heidi says. “The producers have been great at keeping us involved on every level and reassuring us about their intentions for the series which are in keeping with ours. The hard work and filming begins now!”
Ben Campbell, the series producer, puts it this way: “For many skaters roller derby is much more than a sport, it’s a way of life. The derby scene in the UK and Europe is massive and the sport is very dear in the hearts of both the skaters and the fans. We’re looking forward to bringing this exhilarating sport to a wider audience as there really is no better way to experience roller derby than through the passion of its skaters.”
What are London hoping to get out of the deal? Heidi explains: “We hope to further raise the profile of roller derby and London Rollergirls internationally, and for the right reasons – athleticism, high level skating and officiating, passion, community and kickass women and men giving their all to something they love.”