ESL has announced the imminent launch of a new TV channel which will provide 24/7 coverage of pro gamers battling it out in popular titles such as League of Legends, Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Called esportsTV, the channel will launch next month initially on the Viasat satellite service which broadcasts to Nordic and Baltic countries (MTG, which owns Viasat, is the parent company of ESL).
However, both MTG and ESL have said they are in talks with other broadcasters to make the channel available across the globe, so hopefully it won't be long before we all get a slice of the eSports action.
Sky's the limit?
Sky has already dipped its toe into eSports last month, when it showed highlights of the Intel Extreme Masters tournament on Sky 2, focusing on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (other games were briefly mentioned, but the show was really entirely devoted to those battling it out in CS:GO – likely because this is a more self-explanatory game for the uninitiated who might tune in).
The coverage shown on esportsTV will include the Intel Extreme Masters, ESL One and Pro League circuits, and ESL notes that it will be screening over 2,000 hours of live gaming every year, with all core tournaments getting covered.
Currently ESL's viewing audience is around the 100 million mark, but with the launch of this TV channel, that number is expected to increase to more like 250 million fans by the close of 2017.
ESL's Managing Director, Ralf Reichert, commented: "We have always dreamt of making eSports the world's most popular sport, and it's the opportunities like this one that bring us one step closer to making that dream come true. Bringing new and existing content to more screens worldwide is key to further accelerating the growth and popularity of eSports, and we're on a mission to reach every gamer in the world."
- Also check out the argument against competitive gaming: Why eSports is ruining PC gaming