Bengals to be featured on ‘Hard Knocks’ for third time

Series will follow all four AFC North teams for final 6 weeks of season, playoffs

Credit: Greg Lynch

Credit: Greg Lynch

The Cincinnati Bengals will be featured in one of television’s most acclaimed sports documentaries this season.

For the first time, “Hard Knocks” will chronicle an enter NFL division, taking viewers behind the scenes in the AFC North with the Bengals, Browns, Ravens and Steelers all participating.

“Hard Knocks: In Season with the AFC North” series will document the battle for the AFC North crown during the final six weeks of the NFL season, as well as a playoff run for the division-winner and any AFC North Wild Card teams. The series debuts Dec. 3 at 9 p.m. on HBO and will be available to stream on Max.

New episodes will premiere on subsequent Tuesdays through the end of the NFL regular season and continue into the NFL playoffs in January 2025.

“We don’t think — we know — this is the best division in football,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said in a team release. “I understand why it’s an attractive pick for ‘Hard Knocks,’ and it’s an honor to be part of a division that people think so highly of. We have an exciting team with a lot of really talented players and good team guys. They are players that the league is excited about, so this exposure is a positive.”

The Baltimore Ravens were the first team featured on the original “Hard Knocks” training camp series in 2001. Since then, the Bengals have starred in the summer show in 2009 and 2013, and the Cleveland Browns in 2018, while the Pittsburgh Steelers will be making their debut appearance.

NFL Films vice president and head of content Keith Cossrow noted in the press release that last season the AFC North became the first division since 1935 to have all four teams finish with a winning record, “making it the perfect place to launch this new approach to Hard Knocks.”

Last month, two other “Hard Knocks” series were announced for this summer, as the series attempts to expand its coverage across a full year in the NFL. A series on the New York Giants’ offseason debuts July 2, and the Chicago Bears will be featured in the long-running training camp edition of the show, debuting Aug. 6.

The new series on the AFC North will give Bengals fans an inside look into their team’s efforts to bounce back after falling short of the playoffs in 2023.

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