Video streaming service provider Hulu is going into eSports in a big way after beginning the production of four original series centered on the sector in a bid to capture the attention of competitive video-gaming viewers.
Each series will premiere in the US later this year, providing approximately 15 hours of original content, and will be produced by ESL with each focusing on a different aspect of the genre. The range includes: a talk show-style ‘Player vs Player’ angle; a docu-soap ‘Bootcamp’ following a group of players; a ‘Defining Moments’ series following a weekly eSports topic; and ESL Replay – an hour-long catchup show recounting all the action from four major tournaments.
Explaining the investment, Lisa Holme, Hulu’s VP of content acquisition, said: “eSports is one of the fastest-growing areas of media and entertainment, and through this first-of-its-kind deal with ESL we can now bring the popular world of eSports to Hulu.”
Each show will be produced by TV veteran Barry Hennessey of ESL who relished the opportunity to sink his teeth into the format. He added: “eSports has such a rabid fanbase,” he said. For ESL, the goal is to widen the scope of eSports as it migrates into mainstream entertainment. The shows are being produced for both hard-core eSports buffs, while also trying to be “accessible to video-game fans who aren’t necessarily familiar with ‘CS-GO’ tournaments.
ESL is a veteran of the eSports market, producing 20,000 hours of related programming each year, including VR content. The sector has exploded in recent years with even Formula One getting in on the action.