Because of what’s currently going on in the world, sports watchers haven’t had many viewing options. Live sporting events have been scarce over the last month or so and, at this point, many fans are begging to see their favorite teams in action again. Luckily for basketball fans, ESPN has them covered with The Last Dance, the 10-part docuseries centered on the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls of the ‘90s. But if you don’t happen to have ESPN and still want to see it, don’t worry because Netflix has you covered.
Netflix and ESPN have announced that The Last Dance will be available to stream on Netflix in the U.S., starting July 19. The docuseries has already begun streaming on Netflix internationally, but its U.S. debut is being pushed off until the series finishes its ESPN run on May 17, per Variety.
For The Last Dance, ESPN Films teamed up with Netflix to produce the ambitious project. Netflix CCO Ted Sarandos believes it was a smart move as neither company would have been able to produce it alone due to challenges with rights and footage.
Sarandos is thrilled to have the series on the streamer and, during a Q1 earnings interview, he revealed that The Last Dance has performed well overseas thus far. In the end, he views the entire project as a win for the two companies and of course, sports fans:
It’s been a win-win for us and ESPN and a great win for basketball fans, who’ve been very hungry for new programming.
Directed by The Fab Five’s Jason Hehir, The Last Dance takes viewers back in time to the 1997-1998 NBA season, which saw the Chicago Bulls facing the end of their storied dynasty. Under the leadership of head coach Phil Jackson and star player Michael Jordan, the team faced adversity head on in pursuit of their final championship. The series also breaks down the journeys of Michael Jordan and fellow players like Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and Steve Kerr, all while showcasing a number of famous interviewees.
The Last Dance has been a ratings powerhouse for ESPN, having averaged 6.1 million viewers in its premiere and become the network’s most-watched documentary to date. Needless to say, bringing the series to Netflix in the U.S. is a smart move. It also allows the streamer the opportunity to add another piece of strong content to its library.
Viewers without ESPN won’t have to wait too long to see The Last Dance on Netflix, but that July release date is still a few months away. So by the time the series does find its way to Netflix, fans should be more than ready to relive the Bulls’ last title run.
The Last Dance is currently airing every Sunday through May 17 at 9 p.m. EST on ESPN.