The popularity of eSports is continuing to grow, as fiercely competitive gaming matches now have their own news show similar to that of “SportsCenter”. The new show is being called “ESports Weekly with Coca-Cola”, and it will be sponsored by Coca-Cola and IGN.
The show will run for 30 minutes as an online series. It will cover all of the important events that occur in the world of eSports. IGN’s Kevin Knocke will host the show.
The show is an important project for both of the companies, as they have high expectations for the competitive gaming scene which is continuing to grow in popularity. Establishing a permanent news show is an important step towards its development.
Co-founder of IGN Peer Schneider says, “In a short amount of time, eSports has become very popular; viewership is through the roof. What we haven’t seen is the variety in programming develop.”
Head of gaming at Coca-Cola Matt Wolf says, “We want to create a new watering hole for the eSports community. Something they can dig into, something that can have real reporting behind it, not fluffy pieces but interesting news stories.”
Although Coca-Cola’s company name is in the title, they insist that their effort goes beyond simply sponsoring the program. The company is working in conjunction with IGN to help plan and develop the program.
The current content from the gaming world largely consists of tournaments that are streamed live. Fans often don’t have the time to watch every major tournament or keep up with critical news. The newly established show will give fans an important recap of current events in gaming.
IGN has tried similar shows in the past, but they ultimately determined that the market wasn’t quite ready before shutting the shows down. This time around, the company believes that the gaming scene is large enough to support a full-fledged show.
However, IGN insists on covering the gaming leagues of other companies rather than creating their own league. The company says that they don’t want to be the equivalent of “ESPN and the NFL at the same time”.
The show will premiere on Friday at IGN.com. Fans will be able to access the show on mobile and TV apps, as well as on YouTube and Facebook. The show will air every Friday night at 7pm EST. As of now, only eight episodes have been ordered, but more will be produced if the series does well.
Statistics show that nearly 204 million people either watched or participated in eSports in 2014. By the end of this year, that number is expected to increase to 226 million. Revenues in 2015 are estimated to reach $278, which is a 43.1% increase from last year. By 2018, revenues are expected to rise to $765 million.