MADRID — Mediapro, IMG and Film45 will team with Amazon Prime Series and Manchester City to produce Amazon’s awaited and exclusive doc series tracking the manager, stars and boards of the English soccer club over its 2017-18 season.
Announced last month, and launching in 2018, the as-yet-untitled series comes at a time when Manchester City, with France’s PSG, is possibly on of the most debated soccer sides in the world, raising questions such as how good really is manager Pep Guardiola and whether a manager such as Guardiola can successfully impose a style on a team.
At Barcelona, F.C., Guardiola proved the most successful manager in modern times, peaching a tradition of possession soccer inherited from Johann Cruyff, who arguably invented modern soccer. But Guardiola’s time at Barcelona coincided with the full flowering of the talents of Leo Messi.
In England’s Premiere League, Manchester City has made the best start to a season in its history. Another question, however, is whether it will have the bottle to face up to such historic sides as Real Madrid and Barcelona when it comes to the later rounds of the European Champions League.
Such large questions make for a fascinating series, which looks like another milestone in Amazon Prime Video’s drive into sports entertainment. Its plunge into sports, which challenges the lock of traditional broadcasters over the sector, takes in docu-series such as “All or Nothing,” which follows the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams over a NFL season, and live transmissions, such as of ATP Tennis and NFL games.
For Spain-based Mediapro, one of Southern Europe’s biggest independent production-rights-broking-services houses, the Manchester City series adds to international production with other major TV companies: HBO, with which it is co-producing “The New Pope”; Netflix, which bought Mediapro movie “Fe de tears” and has ordered two originals, “Una y no más,” from standup comedian Joaquín Reyes, and the Daniel Burman-showrun “Edha”; Fox, for which Mediapro is producing a third season of “,” a Spanish women’s penitentiary thriller; and DirecTV, which has linked with Mediapro on fiction series “El fútbol no es así.”
Mediapro joins two respected sports companies: Rights-broker and producer IMG, whose most recent deals include managing the global licensing and merchandising rights for the next two Rugby World Cups and an international media rights deal with Football Federation Australia (FFA). Headed by distinguished filmmaker Peter Berg (“Lone Survivor,” “Patriot’s Day”), Film 45 specializes in premium inn-fiction production. Its recents shows include “Serena,” a portrait of the behind-the-scenes life of Serena Williams, as she becomes, in many people’s estimation, the greatest woman tennis player in history.