Sky has invested £1.55 million (US$2.01 million) in eSports broadcaster Ginx TV, with UK broadcaster ITV set to invest an equal amount in the firm.
Both Sky and ITV have the option to buy further holdings in Ginx, which claims to run the largest eSports TV channel in the world with distribution to 37 million households globally.
The investment comes Sky and ITV partnered with Ginx to relaunch its Ginx eSports TV station on the Sky platform in the UK and Ireland back in June. At the time, both networks made it clear they would likely invest in minority stakes.
“We’re really excited to have followed up our commercial partnership with Ginx with this investment, which will help us deepen our understanding of eSports and its audience,” said Sky’s director of business development and strategic partnerships, Emma Lloyd.
“At Sky we are committed to bringing new programmes and channels such as Ginx eSports TV to support and extend our leadership position in content.”
Ginx’s eSports TV network is available in the UK and Ireland on Sky channel 470 and Virgin Media channel 290, with highlights also available via the curated short-form online video section of the Sky’s new Sky Q programme guide. Viewers can also tune in online and through Amazon Fire TV and Roku devices.
The channel showcases major eSports tournaments from around the world alongside its own programming, and has content partnership deals in place with Riot, Activision, EGL and Gfinity.
The deal comes a week after Sky announced it is investing US$1 million in the Drone Racing League (DRL), with plans to televise its events on the Sky Sports Mix channel. The investment was part of a US$12 million funding round by DRL, with other investors including ProSiebenSat.1, MGM and A+E backer Hearst.