France: December launch for eSport channel

French web content specialist group Webedia has confirmed that eSport channel ES1 will debut in early December on Orange’s IPTV and fibre platforms, before joining one of the operator’s pay TV bouquets.

Other operator such as Bouygues Telecom are set to follow suit in January 2018. The new channel’s authorisation is currently being examined by TV regulator CSA.

Dedicated to competition video games, ES1 will offer four kinds of contents including TV shows, game sessions with majors players, live or pre-recorded competitions and exclusive documentaries. The channel, whose project has been initiated by video game specialist Bertrand Amar, will introduce 30 original hours each week. “We want to federate all the French eSport sector, to give it an access to an enlarged audience and to collaborate with key producers and competitions organisers such as O’Gaming, Armateam, GamersOrigin or Zqsd”.

Webedia is a subsidiary of Fimalac, a group run by multi-millionaire Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière, and already owns French and international websites such as AlloCiné, jeuxvideo.com, Puremedias and Pure People. The company had previously concluded several e-sport partnerships including with beIN Sports and French League LFP for a dedicated football championship called Orange e-Ligue. It is also a partner to football club PSG in the development of its eSport branch.

Webedia claims more than 177 million unique visitors each month including 28 million in France.

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