A+E Networks International has announced plans for a global 14 day celebration of football in the run up to the FIFA World Cup.
History of Football will be broadcast by History Channel in 160 countries worldwide including Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Every major territory will present over 40 hours of content which will be a blend of global and local programming.
The "14 day, 24/7 mega event" will run from 28th May to 10th June.
History Channel has partnered with Spanish star David Villa who will act as the global press spokesman for the event.
Announcing the news, Patrick Vien, A+E Networks International’s executive managing director, said “We conceived History of Football as a deeply immersive television event capitalising 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.”
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.”
Local content for each market includes Britain's Greatest Managers for the UK; a one hour documentary about the story of the most famous coach in Italian history: Vittorio Pozzo for Italy; and Germany will premiere an original special, with a local talent who will embark on a road trip throughout the country to find out what makes people love the game so much.
Goalhanger Films, the production company set up by Gary Lineker, is making 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 all time.