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Netflix Latin America Ups Soccer Content

20 May, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Brazil's 2014 World Cup soccer team

On the heels of original Mexican soccer comedy series and pending World Cup, streaming pioneer acquires rights to Brazilian documentary

With the 2014 FIFA World Cup soccer competition set to begin next month in Brazil, Netflix Latin America has begun streaming documentary Mata Mata (also called The Goal of Life) showcasing the fortunes of three promising Brazilian players — including Dante Santos, who plays with Bayern Munich in Germany's Bundesliga.

Netflix acquired the rights from Red Arrow International, whose parent, Red Arrow Entertainment Group, includes 15 production companies across nine countries.

The company’s recent original programming includes cop series “Bosch” (Amazon Prime Instant Video), “Lilyhammer” (Netflix); “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers” (Lifetime) and cooking-themed reality competition “The Taste” (ABC).

Mata Mata showcases the lives of three players — 17-year-old rookie Danilo (Brazilian players are often referred to in the media only by their first name or nickname), 18-year-old Bayern Leverkusen central defender Carlinhos, and 30-year-old Santos — the latter looking to earn his first spot on the Brazilian World Cup team. The doc highlights key moments in their careers, the impacts on their families, in addition to underscoring the business side of the sport, including the players’ agents.

Through player portraits, the doc also highlights the important role that Brazil plays in defining what is widely considered one of the most electrifying styles of soccer played in the world.

The Goal of Life comes to Netflix at the right time — just before the start of the World Cup,” Jessica Rodriguez, VP of content at Netflix Latin America, said in a statement. "This documentary shows how amazing young talent put everything in their power to have the opportunity to succeed in this sport. Their courage and perseverance have inspired stories that deserve to be told and shared.”

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