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Turner taps eSports

News, 07 February 2017
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HOLLYWOOD, FL: Turner Sports, the broadcasting channel, says it is reaching a whole new audience through its eSports coverage and the Eleague it launched less than a year ago

"It's an insanely passionate growth area of the young male demographic," Seth Ladetsky, SVP/sales at Turner Sports, told Beet.tv.

"It's the same 20-year-old demographic (as physical sport)," he explained, "(but a) different psychographic."

He described a group spending "hours and hours a day" around gaming and eSports. "As a media company, we want to be around that and take advantage of that."

How they do that is to typically live broadcast 90% of a competition through partners Twitch and YouTube – "we did a million concurrent streams globally" on Twitch of one recent major game, Ladetsky noted – before moving to television for the final two or three hours of the "grand finale".

The digital audience, he added, can continue to view via TV Everywhere or what he called "an observer feed" through Twitch and YouTube. "We don't want to alienate that fanbase," he said, "but we do want to reach new fans, casual fans, on television".

And the approach of a digital footprint leading to a television culmination seems to be working.

"We see this massive audience of young males we weren't reaching and now we're reaching them," he said. "We're pretty excited about that."

Brands are also starting to notice. "Due to our relationships in the sports world, a lot of non-endemic sponsors have come on board," Ladestky said.

An example is Old Spice, the Procter & Gamble owned male grooming product, whose Nature Adventure – a gaming-led campaign in the US and Canada on Twitch – has just won a Gold in the Effective use of tech category in the Warc Media Awards.

Data sourced from Beet.tv; additional content by Warc staff

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