Super Channel to launch 24-hour e-sports offering

With the global competitive gaming market expected to hit $1.92 billion by 2018, Super Channel is looking to get in on the action while bringing its age demo down.
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Super Channel subscribers will soon get a front-row ticket to e-sports action. The pay TV network has partnered with digital entertainment company Ginx eSportsTV to launch a new 24-hour e-sports and competitive gaming channel, the first of its kind in Canada.

The channel does not have an official launch date set, but is expected to arrive sometime in the spring or summer.

The announcement comes following Super Channel’s parent company Allarco filing for creditor protection last May. As part of its CCAA filing, Super Channel terminated and disclaimed a number of production agreements. However, Super Channel began once again acquiring new content in August.

COO Donald MacDonald told Playback‘s sister pub, MiC, that Super Channel is still “open for business,” a point he first iterated to Playback in Oct. 2016.

Of the new channel, MacDonald said it not only offers a chance to cash in on the booming e-sports market — the value of which is expected to hit $1.92 billion by 2018 according to research firm NewZoo, with 190 million players predicted to partake in the activity by the next three years — but also an opportunity to give a youthful kick to Super Channel. According to MacDonald, Super Channel currently has around 330,000 subscribers across Canada.

“Our subscribers are typically in the 45+ age range,” said MacDonald. “We want to break into the younger millennial segment.”

He said the belief that many millennials live with their parents will provide Super Channel with an easy opportunity to reach the demo.

While there have not been any programs announced for the network yet, MacDonald said the aim is to acquire content that focuses on competitions, documentaries, specials and e-sports-related lifestyle content. In a release announcing the new channel, MacDonald says the channel “provides the Canadian production community with an excellent opportunity to create new eSports content, to be seen on Super Channel and potentially distributed around the world through GINX world wide.”

The e-sports market is most popular in Europe and Asia, however MacDonald pointed out Canada’s strong internet connectivity and growing e-sports community — particularly in the Vancouver and Toronto markets — as indicators of a massive financial opportunity with the channel. Events such as last year’s e-sports tournament at Toronto’s Fan Expo and Cineplex’s in-cinema tournaments have drawn thousands of viewers in person and millions more online.

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From Media in Canada