E-Sports Programmer Major League Gaming Launches Network

Major League Gaming has worked to attract video game enthusiasts over the past decade and is now releasing its own premium eSports network, MLG.TV. MLG has tried different distribution platforms in the past for its events. The company, founded in 2002, has shifted from broadcasting its programs on cable networks to broadcasting online. They have also attempted multiple streaming plans, as well as a partnership with Twitch.

“We’ve been streaming our events for six or seven years, we’ve done network TV, we’ve done cable TV,” MLG co-founder and CEO Sundance DiGiovanni said. “We’ve done our own platform, we’ve done white-label, we’ve done Ustream.”

MLG is now ready to launch its own network along with several partners. One central aim of the network is to better monetize events online.

According to DiGiovanni, user generated platforms are good, but they present certain challenges for a premium brand and content platform when they sell online to advertisers.

“And so MLG.TV was born. The new owned and operated platform will stream up to 1080p HD video, and have built-in Twitter chat, which will enable viewers to instantly share what they’re watching with their followers on the social network, while also seeing what other fans are watching,” explains TechCrunch.

MLG’s plan revolves around bringing in viewers for appointment-like viewing online. They plan to stream the company’s live events, such as MLG championship in Columbus, Ohio. They also will run a series of new shows, such as the eSports Report, which is scheduled to air weekly on Thursday evenings. This is all part of MLG’s goal to create a linear programming schedule comparable to that of TV.

“It’ll also run shows from other partners, such as Call of Duty team OpTic Gaming and Europe e-sports league Gfinity. MLG plans to open up the platform to other partners over time,” reports TechCrunch.

MLG’s decision to create its own network is multifaceted: the company sees growing interest in e-sports, but they also have noticed a greater divide between user generated content being broadcast on certain platforms and the type of premium content it is producing.

“It’s hoping that will help differentiate it, and ultimately that it’ll be able to make more ad dollars as a result,” states TechCrunch.