History is gearing up for the 2018 World Cup with a 14-day ‘Global TV Event’ from May 28 through to June 10 with a host of new documentaries and special films celebrating the beautiful game.
The History of Football extravaganza will go out across History’s worldwide network of channels, featuring more than 40 hours of new content and a raft of locally-sourced documentaries specifically targeted to its UK audience as part of the channel’s biggest-ever programming initiative.
Three original series have been commissioned as part of the programming strand. Goalhanger Films, the UK-based production company set up by former England and Barcelona star Gary Lineker, has produced Football’s Greatest: Head to Head, which will feature an expert panel debating who is the best player of past and present generations in an effort to reveal the greatest of them all.
They will apply the latest science, data and their own personal experiences to decide who is truly the world’s greatest player. Episode 1 sees Ronaldo v Messi. Episode 2 has Pele v Maradona. Episode 3 sees Zidane v Plantini, episode 4 sees Beckham v Bale and the final episode sees Klinsmann v Van Basten.
Football’s Greatest Moments is a five-part documentary series featuring during the fortnight. Episode 1 will look at ‘Pele and the Boys from Brazil and Argentina’, whilst Episode 2 will revisit Italia ’90. Episode 3 will focus on France ’98, Episode 4 is all about Diego Maradona and the final episode is titled ‘Seven Goals That Shook the World’.
Football Godfathers is another five part documentary series included in the fortnight of programming, including profiles in Louis Van Gaal, Claudio Ranieri, Sven Goran Eriksson, Roy Hodgson and Gerard Houllier.
In addition, the History of Football series will give fans the opportunity to engage via History’s social media platforms, including polls and Q+A with experts, and to debate and share opinions on some of the most influential players, managers and moments in the game’s history.
Patrick Vien, A+E Networks International’s Executive Managing Director, said:
“We conceived History of Football as a deeply immersive television event capitalizing on one of those rare moments in our global culture, the World Cup, when a huge segment of the world population becomes so passionately connected.
History’s world-class storytelling has produced and curated a unique combination of global and local programming, long form and short form, to give viewers a wide swath of football content that, all combined, will tell the many phenomenal stories that define the game. It’s the biggest international programming initiative HISTORY has undertaken and I could not be more proud of our team.”
Dan Korn, Executive Producer of History of Football and VP, Programming for A+E UK, added:
“With opinions on football so strong amongst fans worldwide, History’s vast programming slate for this event will aim to engage and ignite an entertaining debate on exactly what were the ultimate historic moments of the sport, who stands as the best player in history, which coaches most shaped the game and so much more. For both the most intense and the more casual fans, History will present 14 days of nothing but the story of the game.”
David Villa, a World Cup winner with Spain and former Barcelona player, will feature in some of the original programming and will also serve as global ambassador for the event, promoting it to his 28 million social media followers. He said:
“As a passionate football player, I’ve been lucky enough to see first-hand how much football means to so many people and how it affects people’s lives. History of Football, told so comprehensively by such a well-loved and highly respected global brand as History, is a remarkable initiative. I am thrilled and honored to work with History on this fantastic television event, because it gives my fellow players, coaches, and myself, an opportunity to talk about what the game means to us and also to re-live so many incredible memories.”
History of Football runs from 28 May to June 10 on History channel, available in the UK on Sky, Virgin, BT TV and via selected online services.
For more information and additional background to the History of Football, including full TV schedules, video clips and behind-the-scenes features, visit history.co.uk/football.