SBD/Issue 87/Sports Media

Universal Pictures Wins Rights To N.Y. Times Article

Universal Pictures has won a “multistudio bidding war for the movie rights” to an article in last Sunday’s N.Y. Times written by Warren St. John about a group of soccer-playing refugee children from different countries who settled near Atlanta, according to Borys Kit of the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The deal includes rights to the article, and life rights to the soccer team’s coach, a Jordan-born woman named Luma Mufleh. St. John “plans to turn the article into a book, and those rights were acquired as well” (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 1/25). DAILY VARIETY’s Fleming & McNary note the Universal bid $3M for the rights, and the deal “calls for Universal to pay $500,000 to build a soccer field for the kids.” Part of the money will “fund a foundation to benefit the team, and the dealmakers cut their fees so more of the coin would go to the teens.” Columbia Pictures, DreamWorks and Disney also bid for the rights (DAILY VARIETY, 1/25).
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