The gambling industry will be pleased to hear that the video on demand service Hulu will launch original esports programming after entering a partnership with the Electronic Sports League.
Living on a tiny rock in a cold and wet part of Europe it was devastating to learn that The Handmaid’s Tale would be on Hulu because the subscription video on demand (VOD) service only serves American based customers. Drat and double drat.
Hulu’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel about a dystopian future that relegates women to nothing more than pieces of property used for breeding purposes was much needed.
Hulu was motoring along (47 million users and 700 million hours streamed), but it wasn’t breathing the same air at Netflix (104 million, and 10 billion hours per month watched). They are hoping the foray into the world of esports may increase those numbers.
Electronic Sports League (ESL) has partnered with the American-based VOD service to produce and stream four original esports series covering 15-hours of footage.
Series 1: Player v Player
An esport debate contest between the most notable faces in the genre with points accrued for debating skills. (Ten, 30-minute episodes).
Series 2: Bootcamp
An insight into the lives of The Immortals, a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) team rebuilding ahead of the Intel Extreme Masters Oakland event. (Six, 30-minute episodes).
Series 3: Defining Moments
Esports specialists discuss a weekly esports theme from live events, newsworthy features, or gaming history (Six, 30-minute shows).
Series 4: ESL Replay
A documentary series showing behind the scenes footage of four of ESL’s most prominent events: Dota 2 in Hamburg, CS: GO and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds in Oakland, CS: GO in Denmark. (Four, 60-minute episodes).
ESL has recruited the 4-time Prime Time Emmy-award winning producer, Barry Hennessey, to bring the ideas to life. Hennessey is famous for his work on The Big Brain Theory, The Amazing Race, and America’s Next Top Model.
The switch is also great news for sports betting outfits hoping that esports will one day become as popular as horse racing and football. Millennials take up 37% of Hulu’s audience. The only downer is the inability to watch the episodes outside of America.
Hulu and ESL’s partnership arrives at a time when the VOD service is offering a limited advert monthly subscription for just $5.99 per month. The offer ends Jan 9, 2018. Hulu shows over 2,000 adverts on the site, and over 30 million people choose to pay the cheaper rate with ads.