Denver Broncos could be frontrunner for HBO’s Hard Knocks in 2020
Comparison of Hard Knocks contenders
Compared to the other Hard Knocks contenders, the Denver Broncos do more than hold their own. For the sake of ease, let’s assume the Titans make the playoffs (which I believe will happen). That leaves the Cardinals, Jaguars, Giants, Steelers, Lions, Titans, and the Broncos.
Out of those teams, only the Giants (4th) and Steelers (5th) rank higher than the Denver Broncos (7th) in Fandom according to the Emory Marketing Analytics Center. The Lions are the next closest team at 22nd with the remainder of the teams even lower on the totem pole of fandom. This is important because, like any television show, Hard Knocks wants viewership. A big, passionate fan base can help equate to good viewership.
From a market-size perspective, Denver’s 17th largest market places the Broncos in the middle of the pack from the teams in the running for the Hard Knocks, but that doesn’t take into account Denver’s position in the United States. With a lack of teams in the Rocky Mountain region, the Denver Broncos reign supreme over a much larger area of the United States. Again, they’re going to want a team that draws an audience.
And finally, from a story line perspective, each team has something interesting in their own right, but in my opinion, it doesn’t outweigh what the Denver Broncos could bring to the table. Arizona has former number one overall pick Kyler Murray and young head coach Kliff Kingsbury, but not much else.
New York has a second-year first-round quarterback in Daniel Jones, but the guy seems like he was born in the Manning mold, and while Peyton makes good commercials, the Manning mold likely isn’t good for good television. Outside of Saqoun, there isn’t much interesting going on in New York.
The Jaguars used to have some big personalities. Now they have an incredibly overpriced backup quarterback and Gardner Minshew.
Detroit would be terribly boring.
And that leaves Pittsburgh, which could be an interesting show with how much drama they have had in the past and with the return of Ben Roethlisberger from injury. Without a few draft picks in 2020 though, there won’t be as many easy headlines to focus on though for HBO’s Hard Knocks.
Which, again, leads me to the Denver Broncos being the frontrunner for Hard Knocks. They’ve got the storylines, the market size, the fan base, and they can’t say, “no”.