ITV, Sky Back U.K. eSports Network Ginx
With growing interest in competitive video gaming, the companies are expected to buy minority stakes.
With growing interest in competitive video gaming, pan-European pay TV giant Sky and U.K. TV powerhouse ITV have joined forces with Ginx TV to launch the U.K. and Ireland’s only 24-hour eSports TV channel, Ginx eSports TV, the companies said Thursday.
ITV and Sky are expected to acquire minority stakes in the business. Financial details weren't disclosed.
"Aiming to bring the very best of eSports to video gaming fans," the channel, formerly known as Ginx TV, said it was rebranding ahead of its launch on Sky on June 23. It was previously only available on cable operator Virgin Media.
Ginx eSports TV will showcase major eSports tournaments from across the globe, as well as independent programming. The schedule will include coverage of Turner’s ELeague tournament, FaceIt‘s eSports Championship Series and Valve’s The International Dota 2. Other content partners will include Riot, Activision, EGL, Gfinity and more.
Outside the U.K. and Ireland, the network will be distributed to an additional 23 million households, "making it the largest eSports TV channel in the world, reaching 37 million homes," according to the partners.
Said Emma Lloyd, group director of business development and strategic partnerships at Sky: “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 programs and channels, such as Ginx eSports TV, to support and extend our leadership position in content."
Simon Pitts, ITV’s managing director of online, pay and interactive, 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."