Doritos at the ready: the UK is getting its first round-the-clock eSports channel, which will broadcast video game tournaments from around the globe 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Ginx eSports TV launches on 23 June on Sky channel 470, and will be the largest eSports channel in the world.
Competitive gaming is booming. According to a report in January by market research firm Newzoo, the global eSports industry will rake in $463m (€411m, $324m) in 2016, an increase of 43% compared to 2015. Thanks to growing recognition of eSports by countries around the world, it's estimated that more than a billion people will have some grasp of eSports by the end of the year – over a third more than in 2015.
Ginx eSports TV is being launched through a partnership between Sky UK, ITV and Ginx TV, a television channel dedicated exclusively to video games. The channel will air major eSports tournaments from across the globe as well as "unique" independent programming.
The schedule will include coverage of the Counter Strike: Global Offensive ELeague tournament run by Turner Broadcasting, FaceIt's eSports Championship Series and Valve's The International Dota 2 championship, which Ginx eSports TV broadcast live. Other content partners will include Riot, Activision, EGL, Gfinity, with more to be announced in future.
Ginx eSports TV will be distributed to a total of 37 million homes, making it "the largest eSports television channel in the world", according its founders.
Michiel Bakker, CEO of Ginx TV, 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."
Emma Lloyd, group director of business development and strategic partnerships at Sky, said that partnering with Ginx TV to launch the new channel would help the broadcaster "develop our understanding of eSports and its audience."