SBJ/Sept. 20-26, 2010/Media

Neal's new firm to executive produce for PBR

Two months after leaving NBC to set up his own production company, longtime TV producer David Neal has signed his first client.

David Neal Productions will executive produce the Professional Bull Riders’ Built Ford Tough Series, starting in January. Neal’s company is based in Los Angeles and has four employees. He hopes to eventually sign up to six clients, including live events and awards shows.

Neal developed an excellent reputation during his three-decade career at NBC, where he produced nine Olympics, four NBA Finals and two World Series.

As part of the new deal, Neal’s firm receives a straight contractual fee for producing the PBR programming, which is carried by Versus.

The programming was previously produced in-house by PBR.

“I have no doubt that I will significantly upgrade the presentation of PBR on TV,” Neal said. “There’s so much potential there. The surface has barely been scratched.”

Neal plans to take viewers closer to the action, moving cameras closer to ground level and placing microphones closer to the event. “I want viewers to feel the power of the bulls more,” Neal said. “I want to capture the raw emotion of the sport.”

Neal is represented by William Morris Endeavor, who cut the deal. Neal credits his longtime friendship with PBR Executive Chairman Jeffrey Pollack with helping to secure it.

“This shows why relationships in this business are so important,” he said. “Jeffrey and I have been friends for 10 years.”

Since moving to Los Angeles, Neal has helped produce the Primetime Emmys and he’s had several meetings with potential clients.

“The live TV experience I gained in sports is easily transferable,” Neal said. “I’ve had more meetings out here with nonsports entities than with sports ones.”


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