Pilgrim Media Group, the Lionsgate-backed production company behind shows like FS1’s The Ultimate Fighter and Discovery’s The Wheel, has partnered to help create original eSports content for ESL. ESL is one of the leading eSports companies, and is behind events like the Intel Extreme Masters, ESL One and ESL Pro League series.
There is certainly appetite from networks and advertisers alike for eSports content. Later this month, TBS will debut ELeague, a live eSports tournament show that will center around Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Last year, ESL competitions drew over 100 million viewers, and if even a fraction of those viewers tuned in to view on linear TV, it would be a resounding success.
“Pilgrim has a long history of creating competition programming that taps into the passion of fans – whether the playing field is the Octagon, the wilderness, on a fishing boat or in an arena,” said Pilgrim Media founder Craig Piligian. “We’re extremely excited to bring the power, scope and mental muscle of gaming to television in a way that helps these loyal fans experience esports as never before.”
ESL likely chose to partner with Pilgrim in part because of the latter’s role in developing The Ultimate Fighter, which immensely helped the UFC. Now, Pilgrim will look to do the same for eSports.