‘Married To The Game offers something for reality fans and football fans alike’

Distributor Lionsgate TV
Producer eOne UK
Length 6 x 45 minutes
Broadcaster Amazon Prime Video (UK)

Meet the WAGs. The wives and girlfriends of five Premier League football players are the stars of eOne reality series Married To The Game – though, despite the title, their more famous partners are far from second billing.

Launched on Amazon Prime Video in the UK and Ireland in February, the series looks beyond the superficial caricature of glamorous, fashion-obsessed WAGs by filming the couples’ daily lives over the summer of 2023.

Married to the Game - Taylor Ward

With marriages, births, career decisions and potential uprooting to a new home due to the background drama of transfer season, many of its themes should resonate with mainstream audiences, irrespective of how much football dominates viewers’ own lives.

Lionsgate senior vice-president, alternative programming, international, Tania Jacobson says it was important to ground the show’s characters, and to portray the women in the footballers’ lives as powerful individuals in their own right.

“These universal stories give the show its heart – we’re all raising families, building careers and balancing everyone’s needs,” she says.

Married to the Game - Sam Tarkowski

Across six episodes, we get to know Sara Gündoğan, wife of (now former) Manchester City player Ilkay Gündoğan; Taylor Ward, bride-to-be of Gündoğan’s then teammate Riyad Mahrez (and daughter of former Premier League player Ashley Ward); Sam Tarkowski, wife of Everton’s James Tarkowski; Cat Harding, who is dating Arsenal midfielder Jorginho; and Ash Turner, whose husband Matt signed with Arsenal in 2022 but now plays for Nottingham Forest.

As the Rebekah Vardy and Colleen Rooney court case, dubbed ‘Wagatha Christie’, has proved, the affairs of footballers’ partners have a particular hold over the British public. But will these stories travel?

Jacobson says the Premier League’s international status puts the show in good stead. “The league is broadcast in more than 200 territories so it has a huge global reach,” she points out. “The series also has a diverse cast, featuring footballers who play for the US, German and Algerian national teams, and a few others. This element adds to its global appeal.”

In the UK, Prime Video carries some Premier League games and is also home to football doc franchise All Or Nothing. But the domestic angle of this series gives it a different sort of appeal, Jacobson suggests.

“It’s a very strong co-viewing experience,” she says. “It offers something for reality fans and football fans alike, as it gives a unique glimpse into the day-to-day lives of footballers and their partners.”

Married to the Game - Ash Turner

It’s not a stretch to imagine the show being reformatted to peek behind the doors of sports stars’ homes in other territories. But while this is an idea that’s been bounced around internally at Lionsgate, for now the focus is firmly on tape sales.

Right now, the footballers are the star names, but the ladies’ increasingly public profiles should help to sell the series, and there’s potential for it to become a returning format.

Lionsgate has global rights outside of the UK and Northern Ireland and, while the home countries of players in the cast seem like a particularly good bet, the distributor believes its warm mix of celebrity and relationships can play everywhere.