ESPN Deportes Ventures into Original Programming with Soccer Docu-Series

Mexico has long been a nation obsessed with soccer and ESPN Deportes looks to tap into that obsession with its first venture into the original content development, Frente al Reto.  The documentary-style series captures the stories of eight Mexican soccer stars as they prepare to represent their country this summer at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

Produced in collaboration with Walton Isaacson, Frente al Reto marks ESPN Deportes’ first attempt to develop original programming outside of studio shows. The series will air every Monday for eight consecutive weeks after premiering on Feb. 8.

“We are incredibly excited and proud to bring these stories to our fans,” says Juan Alfonso, vice president, marketing and content development, ESPN International. “Our goal with Frente al Reto is to show viewers that their idols are more than just a face on a television screen and a player on the field.  These are people with everyday challenges, insecurities and an enormous set of expectations on their shoulders.”

Narrated by GOYA award-nominated actor Jose Maria ‘Chema’ Yazpik of Mexico, Frente al Reto gives delves into the lives of several young Mexican soccer stars, including Andres Guardado (Deportivo La Coruña), Jonny Magallón (Club Deportivo de Guadalajara), Giovanni Dos Santos (Galatasaray), Omar Arellano (Club Deportivo de Guadalajara), Efraín Juarez (Pumas), Guillermo Ochoa (Club America), Jesus Corona  (Cruz Azul) of Mexico’s National Soccer Team and Jose “Gringo” Torres (Pachuca) of the U.S. National Soccer Team.  Using player interviews, testimony from historians, journalists and from a long line of teammates, trainers, coaches, friends and family, the documentary offers an in-depth look at these players preparations and obstacles in preparing for the World Cup.

The documentary spans the globe as an ESPN Deportes and Walton Isaacson crew traveled for several months to England, Holland, Mexico, Spain, Turkey, and the U.S. to shoot the players and conduct over 100 interviews.

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