Fremantle makes winning pitch for docu

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International soccer star Pele is ready to tell his story.

FremantleMedia Enterprises has inked a development agreement with the Brazilian athlete's licensing agency, Prime Licensing. The deal, brokered by WMA, gives FME the global rights to commission a biographical documentary.

Pele's life has been documented in written biographies, but the parties said this marks the first time he has granted anyone "such unparalleled access" to produce a TV documentary.

The content ideas are in the early development stages, but the docu will focus on a specific time in Pele's soccer career. The producer-director roles have not been named. International broadcast distribution rights will go to FME.

FME CEO David Ellender called the deal an "enviable opportunity to work with a truly global superstar."

Pele, born Edison Arantes do Nascimento in 1940, began playing for Santos Futebol Clube when he was 15, joined the Brazilian national team at 16 and led Brazil to its first of three World Cup championships at 17. As a professional, Pele scored more than 1,200 goals and earned the nickname "O Rei" (The King).

In 1967, his popularity influenced the two factions involved in the Nigerian Civil War to agree to a 48-hour cease-fire so they could watch Pele play an exhibition game in Lagos. Among his honors is an honorary British knighthood.

Prime Licensing CEO Paulo Ferreira said the docu "will inspire and touch people of all ages, all over the world." (partialdiff)
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