Faced with hordes of more traditional media companies muscling their way into the esports vertical (Turner and WME|IMG, Yahoo, ESPN.com, Pilgrim Media Group, etc.), game maker Activision Blizzard is fighting back with a Facebook partnership and new features for its Activision Blizzard Media Networks (ABMN) MLG.tv streaming platform, announced this morning at its NewFront presentation in New York City.
ABMN will kick off the partnership with Facebook at the MLG Anaheim Open, a two-day Call of Duty: Black Ops III tournament on June 10 and 11. MLG.tv will broadcast live competitions from the event to Facebook, along with content from its daily “ESR” show, hosted by retired professional gamer Chris Pucketter.
“Esports is an exciting space and continues to be a growing priority for us,” said Dan Reed, head of global sports partnerships for Facebook. “With over 1.6 billion people on the platform and a growing suite of VOD and live streaming products that partners can use to increase engagement, Facebook is uniquely positioned to help esports fans connect around exciting moments and great esports content.”
ABMN’s MLG Anaheim Open programming will also debut MLG.tv’s Enhanced Viewing Experience (EVE), a high-definiton video stream with a built-in algorithmic system that provides viewers with match statistics, up-to-the-minute leaderboards and situational insights based on the competition they are watching.