With a 24-hour, seven days a week eSports gaming channel for UK TV about to be launched, this is even more proof of the surging popularity of eSports as a whole! This week’s announcement from Sky television and ITV will see the introduction of Ginx eSports TV to their programming line-up. The new channel will be available via Sky’s television service, airing footage from tournaments, as well as producing original content for the channel.
A little about Ginx TV:
Ginx TV was founded in 2007 by Alistair Gosling and was launched in August 2008 on Romania’s Boom TV satellite television platform. Since its launch, the channel has expanded its viewer base to include Europe, South-East Asia and East-Africa. As of this week, Ginx TV is to be renamed Ginx eSports TV and will be the UK’s only 24-hour tv channel solely dedicated to eSports.
In a statement from Ginx TV boss Michiel Bakker, he says the focus of the channel is aimed at giving eSports “significant mainstream TV exposure” complementing the online streaming of gaming, which many fans and gamers now tune in to.
He added that he hoped by making Ginx eSports TV available to Sky’s millions of subscribers, it would help people discover eSports for the first time. Established fans will also gain a different perspective on competitions and tournaments.
Considering that many gamers are used to online gaming outlets, such as YouTube, Twitch, FaceBook and sites that stream their own events, the new channel will have stiff competition in growing its audience.
Additionally, increasing numbers of established broadcasters are also starting to air gaming tournaments and events on mainstream TV. In 2015, the BBC aired highlights of the quarter finals of Riot Games’ League of Legends world championships. In the US, the sports network ESPN has also started to focus more on pro-gamers.
The exponential growth of online competitive gaming is becoming more and more evident. Quoting a report from January 2016 by market research firm Newzoo, a data analysis company headquartered in Amsterdam and specialising in games and eSports, the global revenue for the eSports industry in 2016 is predicted to be $463m (€411m), which is an increase of 43% when compared to 2015 figures. Due to more recognition of eSports globally, it is estimated that by the end of 2016, over a billion people will have some inclination and knowledge of eSports. This awareness is an increase of more than a third when compared to 2015!
Current programming on Ginx TV*
• Games Evolved – Tracks the history of a particular game or genre and comments on how different themes or ideas have been treated by different companies, series or decades.
• The Ginx Top 40/10 Chart – A countdown of the biggest games of the week.
• The Ginx Vault – A look at retro games.
• Most Wanted – Interviews and previews.
• Planet of the Apps – Previews, reviews and recommends mobile apps, games and gadgets. Presented by Adam Savage (2011-present), Lucy Hedges (2014-present) and David McClelland (2014-present).
• Ginx Playlist – A look at recommended games.
• The Quest – Focusing on the genre of role-playing video games.
• Under The Radar – A show introduced in June 2015 which focuses on brand new and classic indie games, DLC and other games which may have gone under the radar.
What all this means is that eSports and pro-sim racing will become inextricably intwined with each other! With this extra global exposure, sim racing will become a true professional sport. I can envisage huge prizes and categories of sim racing for monitor racing and VR sim racing alike. The future of sim racing is an exciting prospect and it feels great to be involved in a global phenomena!