Ginx eSports TV is a 24-hour entertainment offering backed by ITV and SkyTV
A new twenty-four hour eSports television channel is set to launch in the UK around June 23… the first of its kind designed to cater for the growing popularity of the competitive video gaming vertical.
Branded Ginx eSports TV, the channel has reportedly attracted the attention and future minority backing of ITV and Sky TV, according to The Guardian newspaper.
The chief executive of the new channel, Michiel Bakker, told the Guardian that Ginx eSports plans to add "significant mainstream television exposure" to the fast-growing eSports ecosystem
"I am also delighted about the prospect of Sky and ITV joining our shareholder roster, it goes without saying that the combined media footprint and expertise of both presents a significant opportunity for us to make a bigger impact, faster," Bakker said.
The channel will launch on Channel 470 in the sports section of Sky's electronic programme guide, airing eSports tournaments that include Turner's ELeague, Valve's The International, and the world's biggest competitive game Counter Strike: Global Offensive.
The Guardian reports that eSports is burgeoning, with star players earning salaries and prize pots of up to $12 million, and internet broadcasts attracting 70 million live and on-demand viewers.
A major live event which is part of FACE IT's eSports Championship Counter Strike Series is scheduled for Wembley Stadium later this month.
ITV online and interactive chief Simon Pitts revealed that Ginx, which has rebranded and was previously available solely on the Virgin Media TV platform, would work from a new studio in Kings Cross, London
"eSports is experiencing phenomenal growth and Ginx's vision is to bring together two incredibly popular forms of entertainment — gaming and television — to create a unique, global proposition," said Pitts.
"We're delighted to be partnering with Ginx and Sky as part of our strategy to target younger audiences, develop new programming genres and expand internationally."
Ginx has international plans, and away from the UK and Ireland the channel will be distributed to an additional 23 million households, giving it a total reach of 37 million households. This will make it the biggest eSports channel in the world, Pitt claims.
Emma Lloyd, business development director at Sky, said her company looked forward to working with Ginx and ITV in developing a television channel to "capture the growing appetite for eSports."
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