SPORT1, a privately owned commercial German television channel, has announced the launch of a dedicated esports channel aimed at fans in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The new outlet is planned to go live Jan. 24 and should strengthen the company’s position as “home of esports” in German-speaking regions.
First linear TV channel in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland
The pay-TV channel will broadcast around-the-clock coverage of major esports events. It will cover popular titles like League of Legends, Dota 2, and CS:GO. The eSPORTS1 content will be distributed through platforms run by Vodafone Deutschland, Telekom, Unitymedia, and others. Additionally, fans will be able to access the program through the company’s esports app.
“With our new channel, eSPORTS1, we look to strengthen our pioneering role in the field of esports and further expand our commitment in the area,” said Sport1 CEO Olaf Schröder. “Since Day One, we have consistently classified esports as a sport in public discussion and have reported on it.”
According to the news release, the channel will cover a minimum of 1,200 live hours of top-level national and international esports events in the coming year. The program will also include self-produced content prepared and presented by the company’s esports editorial team. The group will include experts and influencers from the German-speaking esports community.
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The first scheduled event covered will be the upcoming Chongqing Major, a Dota 2 tournament presented by StarLadder. Taking place Jan. 19-27, it will feature 16 of the best teams worldwide and a $1 million prize pool.
Esports transitioning to mainstream TV
Sport1, a channel that started covering esports back in 2015, is among a growing number of TV outlets launching dedicated esports coverage.
Ginx Esports TV, for example, has been strengthening its position as a powerful outlet for the last couple of years. The UK-based international, multi-language esports channel has identified the potential of esports. It helped the company attract Sky and ITV, two major players in the European broadcasting space. ESPN has also fully embraced esports as a popular attraction.
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