When you think of Sundance wheeling and dealing, you probably think of the bigger players on the indie circuit: the studio specialty divisions, the veteran boutique distributors, or the fledging mid-level newcomers driven by recent investments. But a cable sports channel? ESPN jumped into the game on Saturday by acquiring soccer doc Kicking It, according to indieWIRE.

ESPN is not getting into the theatrical distribution business, though. Instead, they will help the filmmakers to secure theatrical, DVD and other distribution while retaining, naturally enough, worldwide television rights.

Directed by Susan Koch, Kicking It focuses less on the sport and more on a group that uses soccer to help homeless people. First established in 2001, the competition for the Homeless World Cup now involves upwards of 20,000 homeless people playing street soccer. That number is winnowed down through competition to 500 players representing 48 countries. The doc profiles seven players from all over the world: Ireland, Kenya, Spain, USA, Afghanistan and Russia. I imagine we'll hear words like "inspirational' in descriptions of the film; how could it not be?

Koch is a veteran filmmaker and has directed documentaries throughout the world. (Full disclosure: One of the film's producers is Ted Leonsis, AOL executive. He also served as executive producer for Nanking, a doc that premiered at Sundance last year.) ESPN feels that Kicking It fits within their goals of reaching out to an international audience, according to the indieWIRE article. We'll keep an eye out for any forthcoming distribution deals for the film.