Broadcast, Press Release, Television
Australian TV Network 'Seven' Launches eSports and Gaming Channel 'screenPLAY'

Australian TV Network ‘Seven’ Launches eSports and Gaming Channel ‘screenPLAY’

Seven today details plans for the rapid expansion and development of screenPLAY, the company’s omni-channel move into eSports and gaming. Seven also confirms its key relationship with St.George Bank as foundation screenPLAY partner.

screenPLAY builds on Seven’s ‘content everywhere’ strategy, with the brand live across broadcast TV, online assets, social video, live events and eSports activations. screenPLAY will also regularly stream across gaming platforms such as Twitch and YouTube. screenPLAY is curated and hosted by popular gaming personalities Stephanie Bendixsen (@Hexsteph) and Nich Richardson (@Nichboy) and is online at screenPLAY.seven, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Twitch. screenPLAY debuts on 7mate on 29 June.

screenPLAY marks the first major support of eSports by an Australian commercial media network. Seven is partnering with the leading eSports publishers and organisations to deliver the latest and greatest eSports content for the Australian gaming community. Further announcements on screenPLAY’s focus on eSports will be released in the coming weeks, including the launch of Seven’s very own screenPLAY league.

Commenting, Kurt Burnette, Seven’s Chief Revenue Officer, said: “This is the next stage of a long-term strategic rollout, utilising Seven West Media’s market-leading expertise in creating and distributing content. screenPLAY is already creating an authentic connection direct to the esport and gaming community in a way never seen before in this country. screenPLAY creates relevant, premium content and influencers, and aggregates this into actionable data and analytics for both our advertising partners and Seven West Media to further leverage.”

Joining Seven in supporting eSports and gaming is foundational screenPLAY partner St.George. St.George was the first financial institution in Australia to support eSports in 2016 and will continue to extend its support of the community through this partnership with screenPLAY.

Ross Miller, St.George General Manager for Retail Banking, said: “We’re really excited to partner with Seven and support a growing industry that Aussie families enjoy. St.George has a long history of supporting community sports and eSports is no different. We’re proud to be the first bank in Australia to back eSports and help take it to
the next level.”

Brad Timmins, Seven’s Integrated Strategy Director, adds: “We couldn’t be more excited to partner with St.George in growing eSports and gaming here in Australia. We have been extremely impressed with St.George’s dedication and authenticity, and absolute focus on this vibrant community. We believe they will be a strong partner for screenPLAY in pushing eSports and gaming more into the popular mainstream to significantly increase the opportunities for Australian gamers.”

screenPLAY’s launch continues the growing momentum in Australian eSports and gaming:

  • April 2017: nbnTM ‘Future of Sport’ report cites 1.5 million Australian eSports fanatics in 2016
  • May 2017: inaugural Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) event held in Sydney to over 15,000 attendees at Homebush’s Qudos Bank Arena, seeing some of the world’s best teams compete for a $260,000 prize pool
  • May 2017: AFL’s Adelaide Crows announce agreement to acquire Sydney-based professional eSports
    team, Legacy eSports
  • June 2017: PwC’s 2017-2021 Australian Entertainment & Media Outlook calls out eSports as “the next big
    thing in sport”

The Interactive Games & Entertainment Association’s ‘Digital Australia 2016’ study also found 68% of Australians playing video games, including 98% of homes with children.

“Video games, and eSports more specifically, is the exciting coming together of technology, media, sport, entertainment and ‘total video’ – all part of Seven’s core and ongoing strategic focus,” says Seven’s Chief Digital Officer, Clive Dickens. “In many ways this also represents a new, predominantly millennial audience for Seven – digital and social media natives as opposed to linear TV consumers – but one which we greatly look forward to serving directly through our exciting screenPLAY platform.”

Source: Press release

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