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Netflix enjoys a sports small-screen revolution but where do we draw the line?

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A SIDEWAYS GLANCE: Netflix announced a PGA Tour docuseries and Novak Djokovic’s Australian immigration circus has been captured on film as it enjoys a sports small-screen revolution – but where do we draw the line?

  • Netflix teed up a docuseries set inside the PGA Tour and the majors this week 
  • Novak Djokovic’s Australian immigration troubles are also set to be captured
  • Season two of Netflix’s popular documentary, Cheer, has also been released  
  • The surge of docuseries has come on the back of F1’s Drive to Survive’s success


There will surely come a point in sport’s small-screen revolution, when producers and script writers admit defeat.

When they draw the line and say: no, really, this won’t work. It can’t.

When the bigwigs at Netflix decide literally nothing of any interest can be gleaned by digging behind the curtain of this team. Or these athletes.

Two-time major champions Collin Morikawa (pictured) will feature in Netflix's docuseries

The series reportedly started filming during Viktor Hovland's (pictured) Hero World Challenge win

Netflix announced a PGA Tour docuseries earlier this week which will feature stars such as Collin Morikawa (left) and Viktor Hovland (right)

The burning question is exactly where that line sits. Dressage? Fishing? Bridge?

Developments this week suggest we might find out sooner than anyone ever imagined. And yet the answer may also lie further on sport’s fringes than viewers could ever have guessed.

For those who have not heard, a potted history of the past few days. First, Sportsmail revealed that the circus surrounding Novak Djokovic and Australia’s immigration system is set to be captured in an upcoming docuseries about tennis.

Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open visa fiasco will be documented in a brand new Netflix series 

Then it was announced that after teaming up with the PGA Tour and golf’s major championships, Netflix will also follow the lives of the world’s top golfers during the 2022 campaign. Oh, and season two of Cheer came out.

All of these matter — if not for one common reason.

For tennis and golf, the inspiration behind their upcoming series is obvious: Drive to Survive has proven a godsend for Formula One’s fight for eyeballs.

The Netflix docuseries will be the tennis version of the popular F1 show 'Drive to Survive'

The Netflix docuseries will be the tennis version of the popular F1 show ‘Drive to Survive’

Turns out executive producer James Gay-Rees was on to something when he realised that only a shred of drama happens on the track.

Early evidence suggests tennis has struck gold by allowing his crew inside their locker rooms and lounges, too. That first episode in Melbourne should be half-decent.

Over to you then, golf. Forget Amen Corner, what about those hidden crooks of Augusta? So often the best action happens behind closed doors. Just ask Sue Gray.

Forget Amen Corner (pictured), what about those hidden crooks of Augusta?

Forget Amen Corner (pictured), what about those hidden crooks of Augusta?

Netflix's Cheer takes us into the gym of Navarro College and their cheerleading team

Netflix’s Cheer takes us into the gym of Navarro College and their cheerleading team

And those sucked in by Cheer. This docuseries takes us to the backwaters of Texas, into the gym of Navarro College and their all-conquering cheerleading team.

Hardly an easy sell, is it? And yet still absorbing viewing. Even for those of us without an ounce of insight into (or real interest in) their stunts and tumbles.

All of which begs the question: when are Amazon taking us inside the British Carp Angling Championships?

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