Hell, it’s about time. CBS Interactive announced today that they will be partnering, via their Gamespot property, with the Major League Gaming organization and Twitch.TV to become the sole advertiser for both properties along with the exclusive distributor of MLG Pro Circuit competitions. It was also revealed that CBS Interactive is also partnering up with the North American Star League, likely with similar stipulations as MLG. So, basically, e-sports have been dealt one hell of a boon today.
According to the press release Jim Lanzone, the President of CBS Interactive, said “The eSports scene is one of the hottest trends in video, and is rapidly attracting the core 18-34 male demographic in greater numbers than any other medium or category. With these partnerships, CBSi now represents the biggest audience in live gaming and is able to offer our advertising partners a unique mix of trusted, premium content along with the huge engagement and audience that the eSports scene is commanding right now.”
Along with the desirable quantity of eyes, e-sports viewers often tune into streams for an average of 23 minutes which is especially desirable compared to the three minutes average for any other on-demand web clip. On top of that, e-sports viewers are very active with the content they view, taking to social media and various forums to interact with the product as opposed to the average viewer avoiding the Youtube’s braincell genocide farms that they call “Comments.”
All three e-sports organizations draw in millions of viewers from over 175 countries every year but have always faced advertising issues. The partnership with CBS would be beneficial for all parties involved, including viewers who now won’t have to watch the same three commercials over and over and over and over. Of course, there will definitely be kinks to work out due to the variable game times which can go anywhere from a few minutes to over an hour. Commercials will also have to be broadcast between matches and not during a match like with some major sports due to the critical importance milliseconds can make.
The next logical step here is, of course, television. If e-sports prove to be highly popular under this new partnership, it couldn’t be a far cry to expect some matches to start appearing on television and start causing some “What is this, Korea?!” jokes from the unoriginal and untalented pundits amongst us.