Broadcasters Sky and ITV have joined forces with esports specialist Ginx TV to launch the UK's first 24-hour esports TV channel.
Formerly known as Ginx TV and exclusive to Virign Media, the partnership - which sees ITV and Sky take minority stakes in the company - will see the channel launched on Sky TV and rebranded to GINX eSports TV. This, the companies involved claim, is designed to bring esports to a wider audience, and includes partnership with companies including Valve, Riot, Activision, Gfinity, and others. The expansion brings the channel to 37 million homes, making it - Sky claims - the largest esports TV channel in the world.
'GINX eSports TV aims to add significant mainstream TV exposure to the fast growing esports ecosystem. Complementing online streaming, with an entertainment-led approach, the launch on Sky and the rebrand across all our 37 million households allows us to help new audiences discover esports and hopefully gives core fans a fresh perspective,' claimed Michiel Bakker, Ginx TV chief executive officer, of the deal. 'I am also delighted about the prospect of Sky and ITV joining our shareholder roster, it goes without saying that the combined media footprint and expertise of both presents a significant opportunity for us to make a bigger impact, faster.'
GINX eSports TV is to launch on Sky channel 470 on June 23, and will retain its existing position as channel 290 on Virgin Media.