Entertainment Special Highlights the Power of Community as Cameras Follow the Emotional Trials, Tribulations and Triumphs of the Best Madden NFL Players

September 13, 2019 (BURBANK, CA) The CW Network, Electronic Arts Inc. and the National Football League (NFL) announced the premiere of a one-hour primetime esports special, the EA SPORTS MADDEN NFL 20 CLASSIC, airing today, Friday, September 13 (8:00-9:00 pm ET/PT) on The CW.

The Madden NFL 20 Classic Presented by Starbucks® Nitro Cold Brew was the largest tournament in Madden NFL Championship Series history as roughly 400 competitors competed for a title belt and a share of a $190,000 prize purse at the largest dedicated esports facility in North America, the Esports Stadium Arlington in Arlington, TX. This docuseries chronicles the sights and sounds of three days of passionate competition through the eyes of the competitors.

Hosted by Akbar Gbajabiamila, retired NFL player and present NFL Network analyst, the EA SPORTS MADDEN NFL 20 CLASSIC takes viewers behind the scenes with complete access into the minds of competitors at the highest level. Although the show will highlight the X’s and O’s of Madden NFL, its primary focus is to connect audiences to a close-knit community of competitors chasing a uniform dream of becoming champion. The series showcases the human drive for success as well as the agony of defeat through relationships. Viewers will be introduced to long-time Madden NFL seasoned players and new stars learning about their unique backgrounds, the life obstacles they’ve overcome and how a competitive videogame can bring people together.

Our continued partnership with EA and the NFL has been a phenomenal success for The CW,” said Rick Haskins, Executive Vice President, Marketing and Digital Programs, The CW, “We’re thrilled to once again have the opportunity to showcase the passion, competitive spirit and sportsmanship of the Madden community.”

The emotional story of these competitors is extremely compelling regardless of an audience’s existing knowledge of Madden NFL esports,” said Todd Sitrin, SVP and GM of the EA Competitive Gaming Division. “We are continuing our partnership with The CW and the NFL on a high-production Madden NFL entertainment special because this show format resonates with the mainstream – it connects to both the esports enthusiast and the casual viewer seeking a good story.”

This is the third edition of The CW docuseries on the power of the Madden NFL community. The first show aired in December 2017 and was the highest rated esports broadcast that year.

The EA SPORTS MADDEN NFL 20 CLASSIC was filmed August 30-September 1, 2019 at Esports Stadium Arlington in Arlington, TX by Vindex.

About The CW

THE CW TELEVISION NETWORK launched in 2006 as America’s fifth broadcast network, with programming targeting younger viewers, a demographic highly sought after by advertisers. The CW, a joint venture between Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corporation, broadcasts a six-night, 12-hour primetime lineup, Sunday through Friday. The CW’s primetime programming is also available to stream for free, without authentication, on the ad-supported and The CW app, now available on every major OTT platform. In daytime, The CW broadcasts a Monday through Friday afternoon block, and a three-hour Saturday morning kids block. The CW’s digital network, CW Seed, launched in 2013, and offers original short-form digital content as well as past seasons of fan-favorite television series. For more information about the network and its programming, visit

About Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA) is a global leader in digital interactive entertainment. The Company develops and delivers games, content and online services for Internet-connected consoles, mobile devices and personal computers.

In fiscal year 2019, EA posted GAAP net revenue of $4.95 billion. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, EA is recognized for a portfolio of critically acclaimed, high-quality brands such as EA SPORTS™ FIFA, Battlefield™, Apex Legends™, The Sims™, Madden NFL, Need for Speed™, Titanfall™ and Plants vs. Zombies™. More information about EA is available at


PR Contacts:

Electronic Arts Inc.

Travis Varner, 650-628-2717

Manager, Strategic Communications


The CW:

Nate Kirtman, 818-977-5993


Jodi Karp, 818-977-2609