Jake Tucker . Business . Friday 28th July 2017 . 12:31
BBC Three has announced a deal with esports company Gfinity that’ll see the online-only TV channel broadcast tournament games and exclusive short-form video content from Gfinity’s Elite Series.
The event, held at the Gfinity Esports Arena in London, has attracted lots of interest in recent weeks, with Gfinity recently announcing a similar deal with Eleven Sports.
The deal is being billed as just the start for BBC Three’s esports coverage, with the channel previously showing matches from League of Legends Worlds event. The first Elite Series broadcast will go ahead tonight, on BBC Three at 9pm.
The broadcasts will run for the next six weeks until the Elite Series comes to a close, with games showing every Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights and culminating in the finals for a combined total prize pot of £225,000 across Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Street Fighter V and Rocket League.
In addition to the matches, there will also be segments that focus on editorial and lifestyle segments, which help to build up a narrative around the players, which is something Martin Wyatt at Gfinity has always been very enthusiastic about promoting for the success of the Gfinity Elite Series.
Neville Upton, Gfinity’s CEO, said in a press release: “This is an incredible moment for the Gfinity Elite Series and for esports fans in the UK and internationally. Our partnership with BBC Three will bring Elite Series live and lifestyle content to millions of new viewers and showcase the incredible dedication and passion of professional gamers. We are extremely excited to announce to all of our fans, players and partners that for the next six consecutive weeks the Elite Series will be broadcast live on BBC Three. The BBC is one of the world’s most renowned and respected broadcasters and their commitment to the Gfinity Elite Series is a defining moment for esports and we are very proud to be a part of it”.
Damian Kavanagh, controller at BBC Three, added: “Esports has become hugely popular in the last few years with young audiences so it’s great that BBC Three can bring this to a mainstream audience and create new habits with younger audiences as we stream three of the most popular games on BBC Three across the weekend”.