Tuner Broadcasting and WME/IMG announced that they’re hosting the first TV eSports league next year in collaboration with TBS, which will be broadcasting 20 live events during 2016.
The upcoming league is being made with Valve’s blessing, as it’ll be a competitive tournament of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The two parties see this event as an opportunity to broaden the knowledge of eSports through mainstream TV, instead of the other conventional ways like Twitch and so on. Discussions were being made since last year between Tuner and WME/IMG. Even though there aren’t much details yet but the company confirmed that players will compete to win a meaningful amount of cash prize.
Estimated number of eSports viewers from the U.S alone reaches 32 million people, with an increase to 50 million towards 2017 according to one research. The two firms hope that they introduce more people to this competitive sport through TBS channels which exist in over 90 million houses.
“It’s my firm belief that there are many e-sports fans who don’t know they’re e-sports fans yet, Hell, I was one.” Said Tuner Sports president Lenny Daniels.
“There’s no doubt in our mind that this is a sport – these are athletes… It’s competitive, and it requires endurance,” he said. “What hasn’t happened is that it hasn’t been exposed to a mainstream audience.”