Sky and ITV have joined forces with Ginx TV to launch the UK & Ireland’s only 24-hour eSports TV channel, GINX eSports TV, with ITV and Sky expected to take minority stakes in the business to support its growth.
Aiming to bring the very best of eSports to videogaming fans, the channel, formerly known as Ginx TV, revealed its new identity today ahead of its launch on channel 470 in the Sports section of the Sky electronic programme guide on the 23rd of June. The channel was previously only available on Virgin Media channel 290.
GINX eSports TV will showcase major eSports tournaments from across the globe, as well as unique, independent programming. The schedule will include coverage of Turner’s ELEAGUE tournament, FACE IT‘s eSports Championship Series, and Valve’s The International Dota 2 , which GINX eSports TV will be covering live from its new King’s Cross studio. Other content partners will include Riot, Activision, EGL, Gfinity and more.
Outside the UK & Ireland, GINX eSports TV will be distributed to an additional 23 million households, making it the largest eSports TV channel in the world, reaching 37 million homes. With the rapid growth of competitive gaming as a pastime and eSports as a spectator event over the past few years, the appetite and potential for an eSports TV channel has never been greater.
Michiel Bakker, Ginx TV Ltd. CEO said: “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. 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.”
Emma Lloyd, Group Director of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships, Sky commented: “This is an exciting new partnership which will help us develop our understanding of eSports and its audience. At Sky we are committed to bringing new programmes and channels such as GINX eSports TV to support and extend our leadership position in content. We look forward to working with Ginx and ITV on developing a channel which will capture the growing appetite for eSports.”
Simon Pitts ITV’s Managing Director of Online, Pay and Interactive said: “eSports is experiencing phenomenal growth and Ginx’s vision is to bring together two incredibly popular forms of entertainment – gaming and television – to create a unique, global proposition. We’re delighted to be partnering with Ginx and Sky as part of our strategy to target younger audiences, develop new programming genres and expand internationally.”
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Ginx TV Ltd. produces international video gaming TV channels, which after the launch of GINX eSports TV, on Sky, will reach 37 million households around the world. The company also produces videogaming TV series for third party broadcasters.
Sky is Europe’s leading entertainment company, serving 21 million customers across five countries: UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy. We offer the best and broadest range of content, deliver market-leading customer service and use innovative new technology to give customers a better TV experience, whenever and wherever they choose.
Sky has annual revenues of over £11 billion and is Europe’s leading investor in television content with a combined programming budget of £4.9 billion. The group employs 30,000 people and is listed on the London Stock Exchange (SKY).
ITV is an integrated producer broadcaster and the largest commercial television network in the UK. It is the home of popular television from the biggest entertainment events, to original drama, major sport, landmark factual series and independent news. It operates a family of channels including ITV, ITVBe, ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4 and CITV, which are broadcast free-to-air, as well as the pay channel ITV Encore. ITV is also focused on delivering its programming via the ITV Hub, mobile devices, video on demand and third party platforms. ITV Studios is a global production business, creating and selling programmes and formats from offices in the UK, US, Australia, France, Germany, the Nordics and the Netherlands. It is the largest and most successful commercial production company in the UK, the largest independent non-scripted indie in the US and ITV Studios Global Entertainment is a leading international distribution businesses.