Spotlight On: Side Games, a Regional Series that can Cross Borders

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by Sofa Vanoli the 09/07/2018
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Produced by Directv LatAm in collaboration with Spanish group Mediapro, the companies are relaying on a captivating story and the universal appeal of football to produce a local story that can travel successfully across the globe. 

The World Cup fever might come to an end in July, but for Directv Latin America, that's just the beginning. The company is gearing up for the July 15 premiere of a brand new football-centric series titled Side Games, which is produced in collaboration with Spanish group Mediapro.

The series, which will debut with an eight-episode season, is described as a compelling story inspired on 'El fútbol no es así', a book by current LaLiga president Javier Tebas and Pedro Torrens which explores the darker side of professional football.

"From its very start Directv Sports has been a world leader in Latin America," explained Willard Tressel, General Manager for OnDIRECTV to ttvnews. "So when took a look at the book we made the decision to option it because we thought it would complement our leadership in sports and because the story is truly compelling."

"Something that was really appealing with the story was that it's often hard to find a series that can work pan-regionally, because most things can be very local, the series is set in Spain but what we saw in this is that football is a subject that crosses borders. That ended up being the basis for the series, we want it to cross borders," added the executive.



"And the other element I think the market will find appealing is that we were able to organically integrate characters from Latin America as players, scouts or other characters from outside of Spain. Audiences can find characters from Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, and Brazil, so it's going to be very appealing for them."

And in fact, Side Games boasts an international cast with actors like Argentina's Lucas Velasco (Educating Nina) and Spain's Roberto Enríquez (Vis a Vis), Patricia Vico, Pedro Casablanc and Marian Álvarez, among others.

The scripts were developed by Eduardo Sacheri (The Secret in Her Eyes), together with Isabel Sastre, Michel Gaztambide, Carlos Moreno, Abraham Sastre. Daniel Calparsoro directs.

The story focuses on Mariano Hidalgo, a successful businessman who wants to become the president of the club he loves without suspecting how risky that adventure will be for everything he has built up throughout his life.

The club is Deportivo Leonés - a Football Club that plays in Spain's Second - and it will open the door for audiences to discover the multiple worlds that coexist behind professional football by combining the sport many know and love, with everything that goes behind the scenes to make every match a reality.

High Hopes for the International Market



While Side Games will have its initial debut on OnDIRECTV in Latin America straight after the World Cup, Imagina International Sales - Mediapro's distribution arm -, which distributes the series internationally is already taking the first episodes to the international market in the hopes to secure some promising deals.

"We have a longstanding relationship with Mediapro, so working with them both as producers and distributors was a natural extension of what we've already done and it's been a great relationship," explained Tressel.

While no deals can be announced as of yet, Tressel anticipated the debut of the show in other markets like Europe and was confident that the quality of the show, along with the success they hope to achieve in Latin America, will open the doors to more and more markets as the year progresses.

  • Sofa Vanoli

    Passionate about TV shows since my father sat me in front of a screen to watch Star Trek: Enterprise, I write news and reviews. Communications graduate, english lover. Sometimes my imagination runs away with me.

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