Sky, the British satellite-TV operator and ITV, the private TV-channels group invest 3.6 millions Euros in Ginx TV, the TV channel dedicated to gaming and esport. Both stakeholders put 1.8 millions Euros each.
This is a new step for the gaming channel. Sky already announced last June that Ginx TV will be broadcast on its TV bundle. An opportunity of choice! Through the Sky bundle, 37 millions of households can receive Ginx TV. This means it’s the esport channel the most widely broadcast in the world (but not the most watched). Its programme schedule is made of broadcasts dedicated to the gaming universe but also to the contests broadcasting.
Ginx TV owns, notably, the rights for the E-League organised by Turner but also for the FaceIT championship and the queen of the Dota contests, The International. The channel would also like to develop its business scope by working directly with editors like RiotGames, Activision Blizzard and Valve. Sky and ITV will now be shareholders of the channel for 16.5% each.
Director of development and partnerships at Sky, Emma Lloyd stated in a press release: “We are very happy to continue our business partnership with Ginx TV. Through this investment, we wish to enhance the understanding of esport and its audience.”
On its part, Michiel Bakker, CEO at Ginx TV, said: “The channel aims to offer a significant exposure to electronic sport. We are complementary of online broadcasting with an entertainment-focused approach. The input given by Sky and its brand image allow us to get a new audience discovering esport.”
This an investment which confirms the wide interest of traditional media for esport. What can be surprising is the timing. Just 3 months after the launch of Ginx TV on its bundle, Sky makes a new step with this investment.
How can we explain it? First, for Sky and ITV, this is a way to take a position for the future. A kind of laboratory to better understand the behaviour of this special audience of gamers. A choice which is rather wise. The amounts invested keep quite low when we see what Sky is able to invest to acquire the English Premier League rights.
For its part, with this money, there are two levers of possible development for Ginx TV. Whether the channel wishes to expand its programmes schedule and will try to develop new contents; or Ginx will use this amount to acquire broadcast rights for new contests.