DirecTV Gets More Game

Posted by jgaudiosi :: Hollywood & Video Games

Cpl DirecTV has further solidified its place in pro gaming with its exclusive TV agreement with the Cyberathlete Professional League. DirecTV will broadcast the 2006 Winter Championships December 13 through 17 in Dallas. In addition to covering the actual event, DirecTV will create stories that build up the competitors through interviews. The idea is to turn these virtual competitors into "cyberathletes."

Launched in 1997, the CPL is also the world’s first videogames league. Over the past nine years, the CPL has hosted over 50 international main events with a total attendance of 160,000 gamers and has awarded over $3,000,000 in prizes.

"Our partnership with CPL exemplifies how serious we are about presenting these videogame competitions as a professional sport," said Steven Roberts, DIRECTV vice president and general manager. "CPL's nine years of experience, its defining role in the industry and its visionary leadership is exactly what DIRECTV requires to establish a solid foundation in which to build the best coverage the sport has ever seen."

This deal comes on the heels of DirecTV creating its own Championship Gaming Series, which debuts in 2007. This new leaguew will feature teams of pro gamers battling out during an eight event season. Through a partnership with Mountain Dew, Best Buy, Fox and Microsoft Xbox, this league will be covered online by IGN.com and on air through live and taped events and exclusive packages on DirecTV, which reaches 15.4 million consumers.

DirecTV already announced it would hold three tune-up events this year for its Championship Gaming Series. Add in the CPL championships and the producers, directors and others involved in the new league should be in good shape for next year.

The stage has been set through numerous TV deals for pro gaming to come of age this year through TV coverage. Poker has opened the door to executives who once said people wouldn't pay to watch people play games. DirecTV is exploring new technology that will take viewers inside of the game worlds at its events, which should make viewing enjoyable for even the casual TV channel surfer.

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