Jan 14, 2008
ESPN, the “worldwide leader of sports” has decided to give some attention to gamers everywhere. From Major League Gaming’s website (MLG),
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.
You know, its good to see ESPN showing video games some love…I mean, they show love to a lot of other fringe sports (strongest man, lumberjack events, pool competitons, etc.) so why not video games? I would be willing to bet that more people are playing X-Box 360 than participating in a hot dog eating contest anyway (although we all love Joey Chestnutt, right?)
Major League Gaming was started in 2002, and it is North America’s first professional gaming league. The league, which is powered by X-Box 360, already has had some of their competitions broadcasted on television and through mobile distribution, but obviously, regular availability through ESPN’s broadband platform and their website is a big step up for Major League Gaming.
It will certainly be interesting to see what happens with ESPN and MLG’s relationship (it appears that the contract is presently just for the 2008 gaming season), as this year progresses. It will also be interesting to see what happens with MLG in general now that they have this deal under their belt. Will the exposure lead to licensing and endorsement deals for some of their more prominent stars? Will video game pro’s have “sports agents” in the future? Will the format wars (HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray) have any effect on the future of the league (as I said, the league is currently powered by X-Box 360)? Only time will tell.
Major League Gaming: A historic day for major league gaming