DirecTV to broadcast video gaming series

January 12, 2007

DirecTV, the direct-to-home satellite TV service, has announced its intent to launch the Championship Gaming Series, an international video gaming league that will broadcast in HD to more than 100 million homes worldwide starting this spring.

The company said it was in final discussions with the UK’s BSkyB and Hong Kong-based Star Asia to build a global TV network to air the games. In addition, the series will partner with IGN Entertainment, a unit of Fox Interactive Media, to provide online coverage.

The series, to air on DirecTV’s channel 101, will feature teams from around the world. They will include the world’s top pro gamers, who will battle for the international title and more than $1 million in prize money.

The announcement, made at CES, said gaming legend Jonathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel will act as play-by-play commentator and global league spokesperson and advisor. With a roster of the best pro gamers in the world, DirecTV said the producers will have “unparalleled production values and best-in-class televised sports-style coverage.”

For the first time, team members who qualify for the Championship Gaming Series will be drafted by franchises and be paid salaries as full-time pro gamers. Salaried general managers, who are established leaders in competitive gaming, will lead team franchises.

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