The Electronic Sports League (ESL) announced the launch of the world’s first 24/7 esports TV channel, named esportsTV. With the aim of bringing the very best of esports to fans around the world, the launch of esportsTV represents ESL’s ongoing commitment to increasing content accessibility for the esports community worldwide, and will operate alongside existing ESL partnerships with Twitch, Azubu, Hitbox and Yahoo.
The channel is set to launch in May 2016 followed by the broadcast of ESL’s competitions and tournaments on parent company MTG’s Viasat platforms, and ESL and MTG are already in talks with other TV distributors and platform operators around the world. With this, ESL’s current audience of over 100 million digital viewers will soon expand even further, and each year’s over 2,000 hours of live gaming and esports content will be able to reach more territories than ever before in order to accommodate the 2 billion gamers and 250 million esports fans that the industry will have by the end of next year.
MTG will also be distributing esportsTV content on its Nordic and Baltic satellite platforms. The new 24/7 esports channel will feature broadcasts of all of ESL’s biggest events including ESL One, Intel Extreme Masters as well as Pro League competitions, and will enable partnerships with local linear and digital broadcasters and distributors and thus better cater to local audiences’ esports content needs.
"We have always dreamt of making esports the world’s most popular sport, and it’s the opportunities like this one that bring us one step closer to making that dream come true. Bringing new and existing content to more screens worldwide is key to further accelerating the growth and popularity of esports, and we’re on a mission to reach every gamer in the world," said Ralf Reichert, MD of ESL.
Meanwhile, Arnd Benninghoff, CEO of MTGx, and Peter Nørrelund, CEO of MTG Sport, said of the introduction of esportsTV: “This is fantastic because it will bring esports to an even broader global audience. Esports is a global sport played all year round so there is so much content to share. The channel is all about building awareness and growing the gaming community and fanbase. We have seen an explosion of interest in esports and we want to make more and more content available on as many screens as possible.”