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Magic Johnson Last Dance-Style Series Ignites Bidding War

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Submarine Entertainment is shopping a documentary series about Magic Johnson’s life to various streaming and broadcast services. The production company describes the series as Johnson’s own version of The Last Dance, the critically acclaimed 2020 docuseries that focused on Michael Jordan’s career.

According to Bloomberg, Peacock is the frontrunner to land Johnson’s documentary series, making a $25 million offer to Submarine.

Submarine says the series will explore Magic Johnson’s career and legacy as a businessman.

The documentary will also explore Johnson’s legacy as a businessman and how he achieved success as the chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises and on his leadership within the black community as one of the most influential sports figures ever, the press release states.

The Last Dance was a success both critically and with viewers. Moreover, the series drew on-demand streaming viewers to ESPN well after its initial release. Though Johnson isn’t as iconic as Michael Jordan — perhaps no sports figure is — a similar series on his life will garner both attention and subscriptions.

It’s unclear which other services have bid against Peacock for the docu-series on Johnson. However, nearly every streaming service is in spending mode and makes sense as a suitor.

Peacock, notably, is spending large sums of money to “catch up” with Netflix and Disney+. Universal and Peacock are spending more than $400 million to make three new movies inspired by The Exorcist.

Peacock is also all-in on sports programming. Should Peacock land the series on Magic Johnson, NBC will hope that users continue to subscribe to Peacock for the service’s sports content.

Peacock owns the exclusive rights to WWE pay-per-views, will simulcast Sunday Night Football in 2021, and airs a live sports talk hub that features Dan Patrick and Rich Eisen. In addition, NBC has made Peacock a focal point of its 2021 Olympic coverage.

I had hoped Mike Tyson would next get his own Last Dance-style series. Magic Johnson, though, isn’t a bad alternative

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack covers media, politics, and sports at OutKick.

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