Satellite TV giant Sky has formed partnerships with ITV and Ginx TV to create the UK’s first 24/7 eSports TV channel set to broadcast to the largest eSports audience in the world.
Sky TV‘s suite of sports channels is set to increase its population by one after the satellite broadcast giant announced plans to partner with ITV and the video gaming TV channel Ginx.The trio will launch the UK’s first 24-hour eSports TV channel known as Ginx eSports TV and will take over Channel 470 alongside Sky Sports News HQ, Sky Sports 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 and Sky Sports F1.
Sky TV dabbled with eSports back in March, teaming up with the Electronic Sports League (ESL) to show a highlights package from the ESL Intel Masters World Championship, from Katowice in Poland.
Sky’s initial foray into the world of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, and Dota 2 et al., was shown on the entertainment channel Sky 2. The new berth on the sports suite will please eSports fans.
During my time at the recent eSports Betting Summit in London, ESL’s UK Managing Director, James Dean, told the audience that the feedback from eSports fans watching Sky’s coverage of the Katowice action was extremely positive, despite the fact that most viewers preferred to look at the coverage on YouTube and not TV.
The new channel is set to feature coverage from Turner Broadcasting Systems (TBS) Counter Strike: Global Offensive ELEAGUE; Wembley Arena’s eSports Championship Series Finals, and Valve’s The International Dota 2.
Ginx TV’s CEO, Michiel Bakker, stated the obvious when he said the new channel will ‘add significant mainstream exposure’ to the eSports ecosystem, while also confirming that both Sky and ITV will become shareholders in the company.
The new channel will be available for all UK & Ireland customers, and 23 million additional sets of eyeballs from around the globe meaning 37 million homes will have access to the eSports channel making it the largest eSports TV audience in the world.
To share some context, the ELEAGUE premiered its 10-week CS: GO competition on TBS, at the end of May, and attracted 509,000 total viewers during their primetime Friday night slot.