NORTH HOLLYWOOD and BURBANK, Calif., May 10, 2016 /CNW/ -- Award-winning production company Pilgrim Media Group (The Ultimate Fighter) and ESL, the world's largest esports company, have partnered to create and distribute original esports entertainment content for television and digital platforms. The announcement was made today by Pilgrim Media Group CEO Craig Piligian and ESL Executive Chairman Steven Roberts.
ESL is the worldwide leader in the esports industry, and its events in the Intel® Extreme Masters, ESL One and ESL Pro League series continuously attract millions of viewers online. Just last year alone, ESL competitions and tournaments drew over 100 million viewers who watched over nine and a half billion hours of programming. As leading games market research group Newzoo reported in January, the esports economy is projected to grow to $1.1 billion in revenue by 2019 and entertain an audience of 345 million esports enthusiasts.
Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) President of Interactive Ventures and Games Peter Levin brought the opportunity to Pilgrim and helped orchestrate the new content partnership, reflecting the close creative collaboration between the two studios. Lionsgate made an equity investment in Pilgrim last year.
Said Craig Piligian, "Pilgrim has a long history of creating competition programming that taps into the passion of fans – whether the playing field is the Octagon, the wilderness, on a fishing boat or in an arena. We're extremely excited to bring the power, scope and mental muscle of gaming to television in a way that helps these loyal fans experience esports as never before."
"Esports is exploding. Combining the authenticity of ESL with the storytelling expertise of Pilgrim and Lionsgate to further expand the audience is exciting. While the core gaming fans have been enjoying our content for years, the opportunity to showcase esports through a different lens is an amazing opportunity," Roberts stated.
Added Levin, "Our partnership with Craig Piligian and relationship with ESL created the perfect opportunity to bring together the biggest esports promoter in the world and one of the most established and prolific unscripted production companies. We see tremendous growth potential in esports as it becomes a major player in the gaming ecosystem, and we're thrilled to bring esports to more fans on an expanding array of platforms."
About Pilgrim Media Group
Craig Piligian's Pilgrim Media Group produces a wide variety of unscripted and scripted programming for television, including Fast N' Loud, Street Outlaws, Misfit Garage and upcoming series The Wheel for Discovery; The Ultimate Fighter for Fox Sports 1; My Big Fat Fabulous Life for TLC; two-time NAACP Award-winner Welcome to Sweetie Pie's for OWN; Ghost Brothers for Destination America; Ghost Hunters for Syfy; Bring It! and Step It Up! for Lifetime; David Tutera's CELEBrations for WE tv; Wicked Tuna andWicked Tuna: Outer Banks for National Geographic Channel; and Zombie House Flipping for FYI. Pilgrim also is in production on The Runner, with Executive Producers Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, for go90. In the scripted realm, Pilgrim produces for Freeform the freshman series Recovery Road. The company's original movies for Lifetime include Amanda Knox: Murder On Trial In Italy; Abducted: The Carlina White Story, which earned a 2012 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing In A Motion Picture; and the crime thriller Stalkers. For more, visit pilgrimstudios.com.
ESL is the world's largest esports company, leading the industry across the world's most popular video games with numerous online and offline competitions. It operates high profile, branded international and national leagues and tournaments such as the Intel® Extreme Masters, ESL One, ESL National Championships and other top tier stadium based events, as well as grassroots amateur cups, leagues and matchmaking systems. ESL covers a broad field of services in gaming technology, event management, advertising and television production, fully catering to the needs of the esports ecosystem. With offices in North America, Germany, Russia, France, Poland, Spain, China, and partners in many other countries, it has a truly global footprint. (www.eslgaming.com).
Lionsgate is a premier next generation global content leader with a diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, international distribution and sales, branded channel platforms, interactive ventures and games, and location-based entertainment. The Company has nearly 80 television shows on 40 different networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses. These include the critically-acclaimed hit series Orange is the New Black, the hit broadcast network series Nashville, the syndication successes The Wendy Williams Show and Celebrity Name Game (with FremantleMedia), the breakout series The Royals and the Golden Globe-nominated dramedy Casual.
The Company's feature film business spans eight labels and includes the blockbuster Hunger Games franchise, the Now You See Me, Divergent and John Wick series, Sicario, The Age of Adaline, Roadside Attractions' Love & Mercy and Mr. Holmes, Codeblack Films' Addicted and breakout concert film Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain and Pantelion Films' Instructions Not Included, the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the U.S.
Lionsgate's home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rates. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 16,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as a foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lionsgate and Summit brands remain synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world. www.lionsgate.com
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