DirecTV Latin America, Mediapro Adapt Crime Novel ‘El fútbol no es así’ as TV Series

Spanish soccer-set story, developed by Argentina's Eduardo Sacheri ('The Secret in Their Eyes'), to be directed by Daniel Calparsoro

Oscar Lopez and Daniel Calparsoro
Courtesy of Mediapro

AT&T-owned DirecTV Latin America and the Mediapro Group, Spain’s biggest rights broker and a high-profile film and TV producer, have reached a deal to co-develop “El fútbol no es así” (Soccer Is Not Like That), a TV series adaptation of same-titled crime novel.

Set in the Spanish soccer world, co-written by Javier Tebas, president of LaLiga, Spain’s professional soccer league, and Pedro Torrens, “El fútbol no es así” covers the investigation of the murder of the president of a soccer club.

The TV series is being developed by Argentine author Eduardo Sacheri, co-writer of Juan José Campanella’s Foreign-Language Oscar winner “The Secret in Their Eyes.” Daniel Calparsoro, an experienced suspense film and TV series helmer, whose heist thriller feature “Rob a Thief” PROVE a Spanish blockbuster last year, will direct.

The story, “a large bet at an international level,” according to a Mediapro statement, “stands out for the acerbic nature of its dialogues, and drills down on factors that threaten the pillars of the game.”

Project forms part of Mediapro Group’s ambitious expansion plans on international TV contents production, whose early step was the co-production last year of Jude Law premium TV drama “The Young Pope,” in partnership with HBO, Sky and Canal Plus France.

“Soccer and fiction are in our group’s DNA. We could not think of a better combination and a more ideal partner than DirecTV to bring this book to life,” said Óscar López, Mediapro Group executive VP in the U.S.

“El fútbol no es así” “targets audiences from all frontiers around the world,” said Willard Tressel, general manager at DirectTV Latin America’s premium pay TV channel, OnDirecTV.

The series “aims to show soccer as the most beautiful game in the world,” he added.

With “El fútbol no es así,” DirecTV Latin America, the region’s biggest satellite TV multi-channel operator, continues its bet on Spanish-language original fiction projects after co-producing Argentine noir thriller “La Casa del Mar,” which was nominated for an International Emmy last year.