The Strategist

A new cyber wave on TV

05/02/2016 - 12:18

The first eSports channel will appear in Europe. It has already been named esportsTV, and broadcast giant MTG Viasat is appointed as the main distributor. Inhabitants of the Scandinavian countries and the Baltic states will be the first to see the broadcast around the clock. Content for the channel will be provided by eSports ESL League.

Jakob Wells
Jakob Wells
ESports TV is perceived as a queer start, because most of the target audience does not even know what e-sports is. Yet, the change is already expected in the most near future. Firstly, eSports segment itself is growing rapidly. The revenue projected for this year is about $ 500 million, but this amount does not reflect the real state of affairs. Thus, according to Eilers Research, the total volume of e-sports betting in 2020 will reach $ 23.5 billion. In 2015, it amounted to only $ 250 million. eSports industry revenues will continue grow at about the same pace.

Representatives of cyber organizations often talk about the need for eSports promotion. It is clear that television, even in the age of Internet technology, still attracts an audience much wider than online services for game broadcasts. It's not just the amount of the audience, but also its structure. ESports on TV will attract not only the games fans. Gradually, even people, who know nothing about competitive gaming, will get acquainted with this segment. It seems that this is what ESL is eager to achieve.

The company is in talks with the world's leading TV operators to expand the signal distribution. "We have always dreamed to make eSports most popular sport ever. These capabilities bring us one step closer to the fulfillment of this dream." - said Ralf Reichert, managing director of ESL.

EsportsTV will show 2 thousand hours of content from ESL One, IEM and the stages of the competition in the Pro League. This means that the viewers will see not only Dota 2 and League of Legends, but also CS: GO and Starcraft 2, and, most likely, even more niche cyber disciplines. EsportsTV is also going to cooperate with streaming services, such as Twitch, Azubu, Hitbox, and Yahoo! – all of them are ESL partners.

MTG Viasat’s management points out that eSports is great for broadcast around the clock, as the competition goes all year round and is not tied to a number of specific dates. We are talking about tens and even hundreds of tournaments.

Recall that TV channel OGN, which shows only e-sports, has operated long and successfully in the Republic of Korea.