ESPN360.com, ESPN's signature broadband network, and Major League Gaming, the professional video game league, announced that the first night of competition from MLG's upcoming Pro Circuit stop in Columbus, Ohio will be covered live exclusively on the broadband network. The live broadcast of MLG's "Friday Night Kick-Off" will be June 5 at 9 p.m. ET. The programming event marks the first time ESPN has delivered live coverage of an MLG event on one of its networks.
"Major League Gaming has a powerful attraction for young men, and bringing live coverage of MLG on ESPN360.com underscores our commitment to serving fans with events across a broad spectrum, " said Damon Phillips, vice president of ESPN360.com.
ESPN360.com delivers more than 3,500 live, global sports events annually and is currently available in nearly 25 million homes via approximately 45 Internet service providers (ISPs) nationwide. It has more than tripled its distribution in just two years, and by August 2009, will grow to reach nearly 41 million homes, a majority of broadband homes in America, through its newest agreement with Comcast.
"The ESPN brand is synonymous with excellence in sports news and content and we're very pleased to be collaborating with them," said Matthew Bromberg, president and CEO of Major League Gaming. "This season we are seeing 15,000 paying spectators at our live competitions, with another 500,000 young men following the action live, online, for an average of more than an hour each. Partnering with ESPN can only bring more growth to the League."