Apparently, there’s enough room in the crowded esports industry for a US streaming television heavyweight. Hulu has partnered with esports giant ESL to show exclusive esports content.
Hulu — the joint-venture between the Walt Disney Company, 21st Century Fox, Comcast, and Time Warner — will add four original esports series from ESL to its repertoire. ESL will develop and produce the content, which will premiere exclusively on Hulu toward the end of the year.
Nik Adams, ESL’s senior VP of global media rights and distribution had this to say in a statement:
“The partnership with Hulu marks ESL’s first original series on an on-demand streaming service, and will showcase the diverse nature of esports through high quality storytelling. Esports appeals to a younger, more digitally savvy audience so Hulu is a perfect platform to build out our original content and expose the world of esports to new audiences.”
The four series will explore the different aspects of the esports industry and its culture. Featuring stories on athlete training and preparation, as well as news and industry trends, the programming will also include coverage of ESL’s tournaments.
Lisa Holme, Hulu’s VP of content acquisition, gave her company’s perspective on the partnership:
“Esports is one of the fastest growing areas of media and entertainment, and, through this first-of-its-kind deal with ESL, we can now bring the popular world of esports to Hulu. We know our viewers, especially those watching Hulu on consoles, are hungry for this type of content – so we’re excited to offer it on Hulu for the first time.
The four esports series
The four new Hulu series break down like this:
- Player V. Player will feature esports casters and influencers meeting to discuss the hottest industry topics.
- Bootcamp will be a docu-series following Immortals’ CS:GO roster from its rebuilding and up to the IEM Oakland event.
- Defining Moments will recap the most impactful moments in esports history, focusing on a specific theme every week.
- ESL Replay will recap ESL tournaments, including in-depth analyses and behind-the-scenes footage that wasn’t part of the live stream.
With such an interesting lineup, the 3.5 hours per week fans spend watching esports could soon increase.
VOD companies slowly picking up the pace
With esports quickly becoming a global phenomenon, content providers will have to put in effort to secure fans. Myriad media giants are making moves to incorporate esports.
BBC, for example, has introduced live esports coverage to its online channel. YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook also boosted the amount of esports on their platforms.