Xbox Entertainment Studios Hits Field with Soccer Series

Microsoft and Nancy Tellem turn to soccer for its first series to launch on Xbox Live

Xbox One

While Microsoft has said it plans to produce a TV series based on its top franchise “Halo,” with Steven Spielberg producing, the company is now revealing what it’s unscripted series will look like.

Soccer will get the spotlight in the documentary series “Every Street United” that Xbox is said to have greenlit as one of its first projects.

Directed by Jonathan Hock, the show will be broken up into eight 30-minute episodes that feature a local street soccer player in different countries (the U.S., Spain, Holland, France, Argentina, Brazil, Ghana, South Korea), with a final episode to take place at the 2014 World Cup in Rio de Janeiro.

Peter Guber and Mike Tollin’s Mandalay Sports Media will produce the series for Microsoft.

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The unscripted series may seem like an unusual first choice for a division looking to make a major splash with original content. But soccer is the world’s most popular sport, and appeals to the mostly male demo Microsoft knows it needs to reach with its programming. The “Every Street United” project will also lend itself well to interactive elements, which Xbox is keen on exploiting the way it’s currently doing with the NFL through its Xbox 360 console.

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Nancy Tellem, who serves as president of entertainment and digital media, and her team have been considering a slew of projects that will bow on the Xbox Live platform, available on the Xbox 360 and new Xbox One videogame consoles. The series are Microsoft’s answer to the original series Netflix produces.

Deadline Hollywood first reported the news.