During the IAB Digital Content NewFronts 2016, Activision Blizzard announced the launch of its new content, broadcast experiences, and distribution partnerships for its MLG.tv streaming platform.
The company presented the Enhanced Viewing Experience (EVE), “a High-Definition video stream with a built-in algorithmic system that provides viewers with match statistics, up-to-the-minute leaderboards, and situational insights based on the competition they are watching,” as the company describes it.
A veteran to host MLG.tv’s daily broadcast
Veteran broadcaster and retired professional gamer Chris Puckett will take the position of the network’s host, producing up-to-the-minute premium highlights, interviews and news segments for a new generation of sports fans.
Said Steve Bornstein, chairman of ABMN (Activision Blizzard Media Networks, a division of Activision Blizzard, Inc.):
“We’re building a network dedicated to the thrill of competition and the passion of the fans. MLG.tv will play a defining role in realizing the full potential of this audience by creating meaningful, memorable and shareable content.”
Mike Sepso, senior vice president of ABMN added:
“Esports is a cultural phenomenon at its tipping point, and we’re excited to work with the IAB to bring this message directly to advertisers as part of the 2016 Digital Content NewFronts.
The size of our digital network, coupled with our insights into this audience’s viewing habits, put us in a unique position to educate the advertising industry on how to safely target these viewers and reach them on their platform of choice.”
MLG Anaheim Open – part of a deeper collaboration with Facebook
The MLG Anaheim Open, a two-day Call of Duty®: Black Ops III tournament, will be the event where ABMN will launch the new content.
According to Blizzard, which produces such titles as Starcraft 2, Hearthstone, and Overwatch, this will also be the inaugural event as part of a more significant relationship with Facebook, which will allow MLG.tv to broadcast live competitions and deliver ESR content to the 1.6 billion people on Facebook.
Remarked Dan Reed, head of global sports partnerships for Facebook:
“Esports is an exciting space and continues to be a growing priority for us. With over 1.6 billion people on the platform and a growing suite of VOD and live streaming products that partners can use to increase engagement, Facebook is uniquely positioned to help esports fans connect around exciting moments and great esports content.
We’re thrilled to be working with Activision Blizzard Media Networks, a leader in esports, to help fans enjoy and share a variety of exciting new formats and programming on our platform.”
Facebook was looking for live video partners for its service for some time, in some cases paying media companies and celebs to broadcast their content on Facebook Live. By bringing in the exploding esports industry, the social media service will have a lot of content for its huge member base.