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Activision Wants To Start Their Own TV Channel For Esports

Illustration for article titled Activision Wants To Start Their Own TV Channel For Esports

It’s official: Activision has indeed purchased Major League Gaming, as was rumored over the weekend. The most interesting part? They want to take esports to television.

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Speaking to the New York Times as part of the embargoed official announcement, Activision boss Bobby Kotick was as blunt as ever, saying he wants to take competitive gaming to a traditional television channel. “I have a simple vision for this,” he told the paper. “I want to build the ESPN of video games.”

Easier said than done, of course—casual viewers might find a game of basketball more accessible than, say, a game of Dota 2—but it’s an admirable goal nonetheless.

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You can reach the author of this post at jason@kotaku.com or on Twitter at @jasonschreier.

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DISCUSSION

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Naysayer’s aside, this -could- work, but there are a few roadblocks in the way.

1-Bobby needs to be prepared for years of no return while the channel finds it’s legs. That’s hard to justify to stockholders why you’ve blown a few billion on a TV channel that might not see returns for years and years.

2-Boddy also needs to hire folks who know what they are doing. From retired pros who can explain things to folks, to proper timeslots, etc. This means even more money will need to be spent.

3-TV is a shrinking market these days and most gamers only have a net connection. Getting them to pick up a cable package just to watch this when they could do the same without is going to be a damned hard sell.

4-Even if they threw say 20 billion at it, none of it might work out and then he would have to justify the massive losses. Microsoft themselves were prepared to spend 10-15 BILLION dollars -AND- go ten years in the red in order to get the Xbox into people’s homes. I don’t think Bobby can do that.