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Drive to Survive brought new fans to F1. Can an NHL reality series do the same for hockey?

Just as the Stanley Cup Finals kicked off last week, the NHL announced its next big play: a reality series about its hockey stars, from the producers of the ultra-popular Formula One: Drive to Survive.

The still-untitled show, which airs on Prime Video in October, will follow Cup finalists Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers and Matthew Tkachuk of the Florida Panthers, as well as players from teams including the Boston Bruins, the Nashville Predators and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

NHL officials have made one thing clear: They've seen what these shows have done for others, and they are ready to receive. But can a reality program do for hockey what Drive to Survive did for F1 and professional race car driving — or was that lightning in a bottle?

"I myself was really not a motorsport fan until F1 and Formula One: Drive to Survive," said Ellen Hyslop, co-founder of The Gist, a sports media brand aimed at women.

The Saint John, N.B., resident, a self-proclaimed hockey obsessive, said she now tunes into F1 races on the weekend.

While she says it's been interesting to watch how The Gist's audience has responded to F1 since Drive to Survive premiered, she's skeptical of whether an NHL-focused version of the series will have the same impact on hockey.

"There is a lot of that on-ice mess and drama and chirping that I think is so much fun," and that would lend itself well to the reality series format, she said. (Some Drive to Survive fans have likened the show to the Real Housewives properties aired on Bravo.)

Netflix has tried the Drive to Survive treatment with other sports, albeit with moderate success. Break Point followed the lives of a handful of star tennis players, while Full Swing brought fans behind the scenes of

Read more on cbc.ca