This morning, Major League Gaming (MLG) announced that ESPN will be the primary multimedia outlet to provide coverage for the league. This should come as welcome news for those who have been following the MLG which was established in 2002. Not only will ESPN provide coverage, but they will also be co-hosting various events. It is not clear how much television coverage the league will be given, but the network?will at least be providing extensive coverage of every 2008 Pro Circuit event. Breaths should not be held in anticipation of any primetime coverage anytime soon.
This is a huge step for video games as this partnership will provide further legitimacy to this continually booming area of competition in this generation. As children of the digital age move away from traditional arenas of competition (e.g. football, baseball, basketball), youth who aspire to cyberathlete stardom now have higher hopes of pursuing a career in what has traditionally been considered a leisure realm. This will certainly not quell politicians, activists and parents who will continue to demonize video games as they did with rock music, but at least mainstream media?will continue to provide an increasingly positive perspective regarding an industry that is posed to overtake the film industry. Some may remember that in November, Halo 3 and other video games were blamed for the drop in theater attendance in November 2007.
Resurrection of Thresh anyone?
ESPN Enters Content Agreement With Major League Gaming
ESPN.com, the leading online sports destination, today announced it has entered a content agreement with Major League Gaming (MLG), the leading professional video game league.
ESPN will serve as a primary outlet for news about MLG, providing extensive digital coverage of MLG?s 2008 Pro Circuit Competitions, including exclusive streamed matches, pro player interviews, and scores and stats. Additionally, MLG will host ESPN co-branded online video game tournaments.
ESPN will be on site at each of the 2008 MLG Pro Circuit Competitions, reporting news from its own coverage booth for various ESPN programs and platforms, including ESPN360.com, ESPN?s signature broadband sports network.
Additionally, ESPN.com will launch a competitive video gaming section replete with all of the latest news, information and video as it relates to competitive gaming. The section will include background on MLG, interviews with marquee players, video from past competitions and the ESPN/MLG Top Ten, which includes regularly updated video highlighting top game play from MLG pros and players. ESPN.com will announce details of MLG?s 2008 Pro Circuit season in the coming weeks.
?ESPN is committed to serving our fans, and we recognize the growing popularity of pro video gaming,? said John Kosner, senior vice president and general manager, ESPN digital media. ?Adding MLG content to our already comprehensive offering will help us continue to deliver the best news, information and entertainment to our growing gaming audience.?
?Pro video gaming offers sports fans everything they love about sports?great teams, break-out personalities and stars, and exciting competition,? said Matthew Bromberg, President and CEO of Major League Gaming. ?MLG?s digital properties now reach over four million fans a month, and millions more follow the League on TV, mobile devices, and X-Box Live. We?re excited to build upon that audience with ESPN.?
ESPN.com?s video game section (ESPNVideogames.com) is the leading online destination for the latest sports gaming news, analysis, reviews, rankings, video, teasers, cheats, podcasts and the home of game simulations (including Madden, NCAA Football, NBA Live and NASCAR).
ESPN, Inc. is the leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company with over 50 business entities. Sports media assets include ESPN on ABC, six domestic cable television networks, ESPN Regional Television, ESPN International, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com and other growing businesses, including ESPN360.com (Broadband), ESPN Mobile Products (wireless), ESPN On Demand, ESPN Interactive and ESPN PPV.
About Major League Gaming
Major League Gaming is North America?s first professional videogame league, and its only sanctioning body for pro gaming. MLG operates the multi-city MLG Pro Circuit, presented by GameStop and powered by Xbox 360; produces compelling competitions for national television, broadband and mobile distribution; and exclusively represents the best gamers in the world. It also operates a thriving online community and online tournaments for millions of gamers at mlgpro.com. MLG, founded in 2002, is based in New York City and is privately held.