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Seven locks in St George as partner for e-sports platform ScreenPLAY ahead of launch this week

Seven has revealed more details around its move into e-sports and gaming, with the confirmation that ScreenPLAY will debut on 7mate on 29 June with St George as its foundational partner.

Seven’s e-sports play was announced earlier this month with former ABC Good Game hosts Stephanie “Hex” Bendixsen and Nich “Nichboy” Richardson hosting the ScreenPLAY show being rolled out across the network’s digital properties.

The program will have its 7mate debut on June 29 while the website launched last week and its Facebook page on June 15. The show’s YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Twitch channels form part of Seven’s ‘content everywhere’ strategy which will see it also streamed on Twitch and YouTube.

“Video games, and e-sports 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,” Seven’s chief digital officer, Clive Dickens, said in a media release.

“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,” Dickens continued.

Seven’s first advertiser for the integrated program, St George, has been an active supporter of e-sports in Australia since 2016. Earlier this year the bank sponsored ESL Australia, the publisher of games Counter-Strike and Dota 2, and supported the Throwdown League this year.

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

The Australian Financial Review reports Seven will announce its sports leagues in coming weeks, meanwhile on Friday, gaming content developer Showdown announced a partnership with e-sports developer Riot to broadcast League of Legends Oceanic Challenger Series out of its Fox Studios studios in Sydney’s Moore Park

Starting last Friday and continuing weekly, the live games broadcast will be exclusive to ThrowdownTV on the Twitch channel.

Scott Wenkart, Showdown MD, said: “League of Legends has contributed massively to the explosion of e-sports globally and to have this responsibility says a lot about our team and what we’ve built here. Riot has been the gold standard for years now and we can’t wait to grow it further. The size of the audience in ANZ continues to rise and we’re always looking as to how we can add value to our broadcasts for the community.”

e-sports’ potential audiences are substantial with PwC’s Megan Brownlow describing at the recent Mumbrella360 conference how 43 million spectators watched the League of Legends championship final earlier this year.

“The next big thing in sports, it drives advertising and subscriptions, is e-sports,” she said, predicting the sector will globally earn US$874m a year by 2021.

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