CBS to broadcast video gaming event for television

MUMBAI: On 29 July, American television network CBS will become the first broadcaster to cover a video game tournament as a sporting event.

According to The New York Times (NYT), CBS will broadcast edited moments from the World Series of Video Games Tournament held in Louisville, Kentucky last month.

CBS Sports senior VP Rob Correa said, "Who knows, in 10 years we could be looking back on this as a very significant moment. There are an enormous amount of people of all ages who play video games these days, so we’re going to try to see if video games’ popularity can translate into a viable television audience."

However, it is not the first time that video game coverage will appear on television. Cable networks like Spike, ESPN and USA have occasionally shown game coverage and smaller networks like G4 and Gameplay HD have focused on gaming culture, says the NYT report.


Considering that Americans bought about $13 billion worth of video game systems and software last year, more than they spent at the film box office (around $10 billion), there is reason why advertisers have shown interest in CBS‘ broadcast. The current list of sponsors includes KFC, Intel and the Marines.

"Every sport and every entertainment medium has to be presented differently, and we are just starting to figure out what works for video games," said Games Media Properties president Matthew Ringel, speaking to NYT. The company produced the world series of video games the finals of which CBS is broadcasting.

"The audience knows how to watch a music video. They know how to watch boxing. And now all of a sudden they are in this fantasy world. So we need to bring them into that world and give them the help they need to understand what is happening," he said.

Other major broadcast networks have, however, said that they have no major plans to cover video games as a sporting event. This is a sharp contrast to a country like South Korea where video games are one of the most popular pastimes and three full-time video game television networks.


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