Friday, April 11, 2008
Major League Gaming Begins Season With New Internet Strategy, Partnership With ESPN.com
Major League Gaming (MLG) today begins its '08 Pro Circuit with a three-day competitive event at the Meadowlands. The six-year-old outfit, one of the few major competitive gaming outfits left after a significant shakeout of the industry, begins its campaign with several new sponsors and a reworked media strategy. After experimenting in previous years with televised broadcasts of its tournaments through USA Network, MLG now is pursuing a digital-first media strategy in which it will stream all its key competitions, an effort aided by a major partnership struck in January with ESPN. The network will develop regular news coverage of the league; stream live video of some tournaments, including those co-branded between ESPN and MLG; and aid in the creation of MLG/ESPN Top 10 lists that feature "SportsCenter"-type graphics. MLG CEO Matthew Bromberg said, “We don’t need TV to do this. There’s been a sense that you need TV to make it ‘real,’ but that’s fading very fast. ... We’re breaking out of investment mode and a major business is now there. There’s so much activity happening online, whether it be the matches and content themselves, or the online competitions we hold.” The league is looking to do a two-hour TV presentation of its finals in the fall, but that will be an edited re-purposing of a live webcast.