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Sky Sports, the leading sports television broadcaster in the UK and Ireland, has been making a concerted effort over the last few months to capture the next generation of sports audience. In March, Sky became the first major sports broadcaster to create an in-house virtual reality production unit.
Now, Sky is taking on the world of eSports, partnering with Ginx TV to create the UK’s first 24-hour, dedicated eSports television channel. The new channel will officially launch on June 23 in the Sky electronic program.
Ginx eSports TV will become the largest eSports television channel in the world, with the ability to reach 37 million homes in total.
The channel used to be called “Ginx TV,” and it was only available through Virgin Media’s TV platform. Now that it has switched over to Sky’s programming, under a different name, Sky and ITV, another UK commercial television network, have taken minority stakes in the channel.
According to Ginx, the new channel will air major tournaments across the globe, in addition to independent programming. A few of these tournaments are Turner’s ELEAGUE tournament, FACE IT’s eSports Championship Series and Valve’s The International Dota 2. Ginx eSports TV will also provide programming from a number of big name content partners, like Riot, Activision, EGL and Gfinity.
This new channel will serve as an interesting experiment for Sky. They are taking a sport that has traditionally been viewed with online mediums to cable.
Time will tell whether it is ready for a mainstream market.