“We are the authentic ones,” says José Larraza, the creator of The less thought day, the embedded camera documentary series that narrates the adventures of the Movistar team during the cycling season. The undisguised pride of a pioneer with which he affirms it is fully justified. The series invented a genre. He opened a path, as great mountaineers do, through which many imitators have followed. The fourth season (four 40-minute episodes to recount the retirement of Alejandro Valverde at the age of 42, the vicissitudes, fall and resurrection of Enric Mas, the year full of victories for Annemiek van Vleuten and the team’s fight to avoid relegation from WorldTour in 2022) is broadcast on Vamos, by Movistar Plus, in a marathon session on Monday, March 27.
The first two seasons were released directly on Netflix, the streaming platform. transmission who has become a leading actress in the world of sports without having to resort to the excessive expense of buying live broadcast rights. With already established series like drive to survive (about the Formula 1 season), fully operational (golf) or Breaking point (tennis circuit), has achieved, in addition to benefits and increasing the audience of the competitions that the competition broadcasts, rejuvenating the image of sports and offering a new narrative to a younger audience. The story, reduced to the anecdote, almost to the meme. The “authenticity” of the first seasons, the added morbidity, replaced by the awareness of the presence of the camera and by the weight of the team owners when intervening in the editing. “I no longer know if cyclists are better artists or athletes,” summarized Eduardo Navarro, head of Public Affairs at Telefónica, in the presentation.
The television documentary has gained so much weight in the life of sports and athletes that it is no longer the traditional media that can achieve the sincere and heartbreaking interview. The “I will only speak and tell the truth in the presence of my lawyer” has been replaced by “I will only tell everything when Netflix or whoever makes a documentary for me”.
Apart from the series dedicated entirely to Movistar, Netflix is also exploring the possibilities of major cycling competitions to generate its own content similar to that of F1, golf and tennis. Thus, the Tour de France will be the protagonist of a new Netflix series, recorded last July with the collaboration of the race and eight teams, including the winner’s Jumbo, Jonas Vingegaard, but not Tadej Pogacar’s UAE or Movistar. , who accepts the embedded cameras in their day-to-day life in exchange for 50,000 euros each. It will be released before the month of June.
“The third season of The less thought day We premiered it for Spain and then it was broadcast on Netflix for the whole world and with the fourth we hope to be able to do the same. We are already negotiating with the platform,” says Rafael Fernández Alarcón, father of the idea for the documentary and head of sponsorships for Telefónica, the company that produces the series through Telefónica Broadcast Services (TBS). “We seek with her to help make cycling a better sport and the closeness of the fans, her sympathy towards our team. And we have measured the result and yes, love has asked”.
Netflix—230 million subscribers in 189 countries; €30 billion in annual revenue—financed the first two seasons. The following issues without paying anything. “All production costs, which are not low, are on us,” says Fernández Alarcón. “It is, basically, branded content [contenido patrocinado]”. The monetization of his acting work is still far from the reach of cyclists.
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