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Sky, ITV partner Ginx to launch eSports TV channel
MUMBAI: UK broadcasters Sky and ITV have joined forces with Ginx TV to launch the UK & Ireland’s only 24-hour eSports TV channel, GINX eSports TV, with ITV and Sky expected to take minority stakes in the business to support its growth.
Aiming to bring the very best of eSports to videogaming fans, the channel, formerly known as Ginx TV, revealed its new identity today ahead of its launch on Sky channel 470 in the Sports section of the the Sky electronic programme guide, on 23 June. The channel was previously only available on Virgin Media channel 290.
GINX eSports TV will showcase major eSports tournaments from across the globe, as well as unique, independent programming. The schedule will include coverage of Turner’s ELEAGUE tournament, FACEIT‘s eSports Championship Series, and Valve’s The International Dota 2 , which GINX eSports TV will be covering live from its new King’s Cross studio. Other content partners will include Riot, Activision, EGL, Gfinity and more will be announced.
Outside the UK and Ireland, Ginx eSports TV will be distributed to an additional 23 million households, making it the largest eSports TV channel in the world, reaching 37 million homes. With the rapid growth of competitive gaming and eSports as a spectator event over the past few years, the appetite and potential for an eSports TV channel has never been greater.
Ginx TV CEO Michiel Bakker said, “Ginx eSports TV aims to add significant mainstream TV exposure to the fast growing eSports ecosystem. Complementing online streaming, with an entertainment-led approach, the launch on Sky and the rebrand across all our 37 million households allows us to help new audiences discover eSports and hopefully gives core fans a fresh perspective. 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.”
Sky group director of business development and strategic partnerships Emma Lloyd commented, “This is an exciting new partnership which will help us develop our understanding of eSports and its audience. At Sky we are committed to bringing new programmes and channels such as Ginx eSports TV to support and extend our leadership position in content. We look forward to working with Ginx and ITV on developing a channel which will capture the growing appetite for eSports.”
ITV MD online, pay and interactive Simon Pitts said, “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. 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.”