'Hard Knocks' 2019: Start Date, Schedule, Where to Watch and Which NFL Team is on the Show?

Few would have questioned HBO's wisdom when the network announced in June that the Oakland Raiders will feature on this season of Hard Knocks.

The annual training camp reality series has developed a cult following and who better than the Raiders to pick up the baton? Oakland has all the ingredients to be a hit on the screen and on the field—although major improvements are required on the latter after a 4-12 season.

In Antonio Brown, the Raiders have added one of the best and most controversial players in the league to their roster this offseason, while head coach Jon Gruden's ebullient personality looks tailored for a reality show.

Speaking of controversial players, Oakland has also added Richie Incognito to its roster. Incognito's recent record on and off the field is more miss than hit and it will be intriguing to see him on Hard Knocks.

Throw into the mixture the fact the upcoming campaign is the Raiders' last in Oakland before they move to Las Vegas and we have all the ingredients for a potentially classic edition of Hard Knocks.

Here's everything you need to know about this season's series.

What is Hard Knocks?

Now in its 14th season, the show is produced by NFL Films and gives viewers an insight into an NFL team's training camp. The show is granted unparalleled behind-the-scenes access, which it uses to explore a series of different storylines.

These change from team to team but they loosely almost always include how new signings fit into a team, the impact rookies can have in their first season and the coaching team's plans for the season. Expect to see a big focus on roster cuts and position battles too.

A little taste of what's coming on August 6. #HardKnocks

(via @NFLFilms, @HBO) pic.twitter.com/TNGsaGYxMn

— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) July 26, 2019

When does Hard Knocks begin?

The first episode of the new season of Hard Knocks will air at 10 p.m. ET on Tuesday, August 6 on HBO. An hour-long episode will air each week on Tuesday at the same time, culminating in the season finale on September 3. The Raiders open their NFL campaign six days later against the Denver Broncos.

Where can I watch Hard Knocks?

Hard Knocks will be available on HBO, HBO on Demand, HBO NOW, HBO GO and HBO partner streaming platforms.

Will non-football fans enjoy the show?

Being a Raiders fan or at least a football fan will certainly help, but one of the best thing about Hard Knocks is its appeal to casual fans. Its unscripted nature gets the most out of the high-octane environment that is an NFL training camp.

"If you're a fan of football or great storytelling, Hard Knocks with the Oakland Raiders is going to be must-see television," said Peter Nelson, executive vice president, HBO Sports. "We are so grateful to this storied franchise for opening up its doors and allowing HBO and NFL Films to spend the summer with the Raiders in what promises to be a compelling and engaging training camp."

Jon Gruden, Oakland Raiders
Jon Gruden, head coach of the Oakland Raiders of the North Team during the 2019 Reese's Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on January 26, 2019 in Mobile, Alabama. The North defeated the South 34 to 24. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) Don Juan Moore/Getty

Why has HBO chosen the Raiders?

HBO could choose from just five franchises—the Oakland Raiders, New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers, Detroit Lions and the Washington Redskins—for the 2019 series of Hard Knocks.

Because of NFL regulations, teams are exempt from consideration if they have played in the postseason in the past two years or have been the focus of the series in the previous decade. Teams who have a first-year coach are also not considered.

In March, Raiders owner Mark Davis made clear he wanted nothing to do with the documentary, but the franchise ended up being selected anyway.

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