Broadcasters from Ireland, Wales, China and the Republic of Korea have joined forces to co-produce a new series focusing on some of the world’s greatest sporting arenas.

‘Stadiums’ (4×60) is an international co-production between Irish language broadcaster TG4, Welsh language broadcaster S4C and production companies Loosehorse and Cwmni Da, which has received the support of LIC China, Jeonju Television (JTV) and the Korean Communications Agency (KCA). The project has also received support from Welsh Government via Creative Wales.

The series visits the planet’s most iconic stadiums, including Beijing’s Bird’s Nest Stadium, Seoul’s Olympic Stadium, the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City and Anfield in Liverpool.

The Welsh version of Stadiums will be called Jason Mohammad: Stadiymau’r Byd and fronted by BBC Final Score and Pen/Campwyr host Jason Mohammad, while former five-time All-Ireland GAA champion-turned broadcaster, Dara Ó Cinnéide, will present TG4’s Irish version, Na Góirt Órga.

Llinos Wynne, S4C Factual Commissioner, said: “Stadiums is an exciting series and we have been proud to work with our international partners to bring an extraordinary insight into some of the most significant stadiums on the planet. This series underlines the true power of collaboration in the reaching audiences worldwide, and it is a huge vote of confidence in the booming creative industry here in Wales.”

Alan Esslemont Director General of TG4 says: “We have known for a long time, but it is strikingly clear in the light of the global success of ‘An Cailín Ciúin/The Quiet Girl’, that language is not a barrier to international success.

“S4C has been a role model for TG4 for many years and ‘Stadiums’ is the latest in a line of high-quality factual co-productions between TG4 and Wales.  S4C is a strategic international market partner for TG4 as we work with our independent audiovisual sector and the creative community in Ireland to build thriving, sustainable companies of scale.”

Llion Iwan, Cwmni Da Managing Director, said: “Whilst sport is competitive it also brings people together, be it communities or nations, to stadiums to be together, to compete, to celebrate.

“The idea of telling the stories of stadiums across the globe enables the viewers not only to enjoy the landscape but to learn about their creation, their history. As people we are sociable creatures and the atmosphere in such places is unique.”

Cormac Ó hÁrgadáin, series producer from Loosehorse said: “Stadiums are much more than architectural wonders of steel and stone, they are living cathedrals where communities come to bond, as they worship their sporting heroes. This is true whether you are at a county final in Kerry or the World Cup Final in Mexico City.

“It was a joy to be invited to participate in this unique project and to accompany Dara Ó Cinnéide as he brought Irish viewers all over the world, in a stirring celebration of sporting passion.”

Na Góirt Órga will be aired on 24 March 2023, on TG4, with Jason Mohammad: Stadiymau’r Byd starting on S4C on 5 April 2024.

Jon Creamer

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