Soccer-themed programming begins to swell in World Cup run-up.

In the run-up to June’s FIFA Word Cup, Netflix Latin America has acquired “Mata Mata,” a behind –the-scenes take on the high-pressure, cut-throat world of professional soccer, for streaming in all Latin American countries where Netflix is available.

“Mata Mata” was sold by Red Arrow Intl., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the ProSiebenSat.1 Group, one of Europe’s leading media groups. F24 Film produced “Mata Mata” for Germany’s pubcaster SWR/ARD.

Bowing Friday on Netflix, “Mata Mata” – Portuguese for a knockout march – tracks for three years the contrasting fortunes of three Brazilian soccer players. It marks just part of the slew of programs, some inspired, which looks set to hit programmer’s skeds from around Cannes as TV networks, here the world’s biggest TV network, seek to capitalize on an event likely to draw the biggest viewing audiences in history, converting one off games with limited TV opportunities, into near wall-to-wall entertainment. While many sales deals havegone down, some are only now being announced.

Two of the soccer-players tracked by “Mata Mata” are 17-year-old rookie Danilo, who has been flooded by offers from top European clubs, and 18-year-old central defender Carlinhos, who plays for Bayern Leverkusen, a strong first division club in Germany’s Bundesliga.

The third figure is Dante, who was part of Bayern Munich’s first ever winner of the triple crown – Bundesliga, DFB Pokal and UEFA Champions League – and, at the time the documentary was made, at 30, was dreaming of a call-up for Brazil’s World Cup squad, which would mark his first World Cup involvement.

“This amazing documentary showcases young talent putting everything on the line to have a chance at success and athletic glory. In their boldness and perseverance, all the featured players have inspiring stories that deserve to be told and shared,” said Jessica Rodriguez, VP, content, Netflix.

Zasha Robles, Red Arrow International’s distribution partner in Latin America added: “Football is more than just a game – it’s a huge global business. ‘Mata Mata’ is an outstanding documentary feature, providing audiences with a fascinating and intimate look behind the scenes as young stars fight to achieve their dreams.”

Zasha Robles, Red Arrow International’s distribution partner in Latin America added: “Football is more than just a game – it’s a huge global business. ‘Mata Mata’ is an outstanding documentary feature, providing audiences with a fascinating and intimate look behind the scenes as young stars fight to achieve their dreams.”

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