(May 10, 2018 – NEW YORK, NY) –Sports Illustrated and Major League Baseball have announced the first of two co-produced longform documentaries. The first film from the collaboration is “14 Back,” which will be directed by 11-time Emmy Award-winning director and producer Jonathan Hock, to be debuted on Sports Illustrated TV (SI TV) this fall.
“14 Back” will focus on the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry during the summer of 1978, which ended in a climactic one-game playoff and concluded a pennant race by which all others are measured. Even 40 years after the Yankees and Red Sox vied for a chance to play in the ’78 Fall Classic, their battle both on and off the field during that summer and fall has arguably never been equaled.
“There was greatness in both dugouts on that autumn day at Fenway in 1978, and each team needed the other to define itself,” said Hock. “The result was as rich and juicy a sports story as two teams were ever destined to write together. To be the filmmaker to help tell that story is, for me, as good as it gets.”
The documentary will feature interviews with players, writers and celebrities on both sides of the rivalry, incredible archival footage from MLB’s unmatched library and Sports Illustrated images from that era will feature prominently in the film to transport audiences back into the tension and mood of that iconic season four decades ago.
“SI’s great competitive advantage is its ability to tell the most impactful stories. The creation of SI TV, as evidenced by the success of “WeTown,” enables us to tell the story of the most memorable season in the most bitter rivalry in sports in an even more high-impact, entertaining and illuminating way,” said Chris Stone, Editorial Director of Sports Illustrated. “This is almost like the prequel for “Celtics/Lakers: Best of Enemies,” the awesome ESPN 30 for 30 documentary which Jon wrote and produced. His insight into what fuels and sustains the most epic rivalries in sports uniquely qualifies him to own this story.”
“14 Back” will debut on SI TV, Sports Illustrated’s SVOD network, later this year. Executive Producers are Josh Oshinsky, Chris Stone and Ian Orefice for Sports Illustrated; Jonathan Hock of Hock Films; and Nick Trotta, Major League Baseball.
Hock has directed four ESPN 30 for 30 documentaries and was the writer and producer of last year’s critically acclaimed “Celtics/Lakers: Best of Enemies,” a three-part, five-hour film about the rivalry that is the de facto successor to Red Sox-Yankees as the most gripping in sports.
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Sports Illustrated is the preeminent journalistic enterprise covering the world of sports both on and off the field. Debuting in 1954, SI has garnered worldwide acclaim for its award-winning storytelling born from an independent voice and for its unparalleled access to the most popular athletes and newsmakers from the sports world. This is the underpinning of the franchise, which now boasts a group of best-in-class consumer products and platforms reaching more than 73 million. The Sports Illustrated Group features the most-read sports magazine, a top 10 sports digital network and marquee franchises—Sports Illustrated Films, TheMMQB.com, the FanSided Network of sites and apps, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, Sportsperson of the Year, Extra Mustard and Sports Illustrated Kids. For more information, visit SI.com and follow @SINow on Twitter, @SportsIllustrated on Instagram and Facebook and SI_mag on Snapchat.
ABOUT SPORTS ILLUSTRATED TV (SI TV)
Sports Illustrated TV (SI TV) is a subscription-video-on-demand OTT (over-the-top) streaming media network from Sports Illustrated. SI TV brings the iconic magazine to life with much of the original show content inspired by and complementary to the pages of the magazine. The network offers the most unique programming mix for sports lovers and is an unmatched mix of original documentary series, feature-length documentaries and weekly studio shows, along with acquired sports movies, documentaries, and TV shows that are regularly refreshed. SI TV is available on Amazon Channels, fuboTV’s “Sports Plus” tier, and as a direct-to-consumer service on Roku, web browsers, iOS and Android devices. The brand’s award-winning sports producers and editorial staff create original SI TV shows at Meredith’s world-class production facility in New York.
ABOUT MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
Major League Baseball (MLB) is the most historic professional sports league in the United States and consists of 30 member clubs in the U.S. and Canada, representing the highest level of professional baseball. Led by Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr., MLB currently features record levels of labor peace, competitive balance and industry revenues, as well as the most comprehensive drug-testing program in American professional sports. MLB remains committed to making an impact in the communities of the U.S., Canada and throughout the world, perpetuating the sport’s larger role in society and permeating every facet of baseball’s business, marketing and community relations endeavors. With the continued success of MLB Advanced Media and MLB Network, MLB continues to find innovative ways for its fans to enjoy America’s National Pastime and a truly global game. For more information on Major League Baseball, visit www.MLB.com.
ABOUT JONATHAN HOCK
Hock Films was founded in 1998. Full-service New York based independent production company specializing in sports documentary content.
Mary Kate Schulte