Spike, MTVN team for Cyber Games


Continuing the migration of video games to other forms of entertainment, Viacom Inc. properties Spike TV and MTVN's cross-platform network of broadcast and digital media outlets have entered a deal for World Cyber Games events.

This marks the largest multimedia platform deal for the professional-gaming league and the first time Spike TV will telecast the WCG Grand Final, which this year takes place Oct. 3-7 at Qwest Field in Seattle. The Olympic-style championship on SpikeTV will be presented by Samsung Electronics, which owns the WCG, and others, and air as a one-hour special in November.

"Coverage of the World Cyber Games Grand Final is a great addition to our lineup as it appeals to our core demographic," Spike TV senior vp marketing Dario Spina said.

Video games already have made inroads with an entire Championship Gaming Series season airing live on DirecTV and a deal for CBS to broadcast World Series of Video Games competitions.

The WCG also will be featured on Spike TV's original series "Game Head" for several weeks leading up to the Grand Final. In each episode, there will be a recap of the competitions, behind-the-scenes looks at this emerging cultural festival and profiles of the gamers. Spike TV will promote the show on-air with tune-in spots and online at MTVN's GameTrailers and Xfire.

GameTrailers and Xfire will deliver coverage of the WCG through shortform video segments, and Xfire will enable the public to test their skills against some of the teams that are competing through "Play With the Pros" events.

Featuring online and offline events held throughout the world, the yearlong WCG series attracted more than 1.3 million competitors worldwide in 2006. For last year's Grand Final in Monza, Italy, more than 24 million people tuned in to watch the competition in real time, according to the WCG.

In addition to Samsung, corporate partners for the 2007 WCG include Microsoft, Circuit City and Philips amBX.