DALLAS, TX and SEOUL, KOREA - Nov 10, 2005 - Move over, poker. Competitive video gaming, known as "e-Sports", is poised to become the next spectator sport when it debuts on HDNet this week. For the first time in the United States, HDNet will broadcast ground breaking coverage of the 2005 World Cyber Games US Final, premiering Thursday November 10, 2005 at 8pm EDT.
Featuring games for Xbox and PCs, the show will focus on the country's best Halo 2 players as they battle for cash prizes and the right to represent the United States in Halo 2 against elite Xbox gamers from 67 countries in Singapore later this month. The 2005 US Final will also take a close-up look at the world of the popular PC game Counter-Strike and its unique culture. For sports fans, the World Cyber Games US Final will also feature the country's best FIFA soccer players.
"The World Cyber Games has helped to pioneer e-Sports, much the same way that HDNet has helped to pioneer High Definition television," said Hank Jeong, CEO of ICM, the global organizers of the World Cyber Games. "This ground breaking show signals that the era of e-Sports has finally arrived in the United States."
"We are very excited about covering this championship," said Mark Cuban, co-founder and chairman of HDNet. "These battles are incredibly competitive and we find that the combination of all of this great action, coupled with high definition coverage makes this event just as compelling on television as it is in person."
HDNet will become the first US television outlet to broadcast video game tournament coverage in a sports style format. The timing is ideal as the mainstream popularity of video games has exploded into a $25.5 billion industry.
The World Cyber Games is the world's largest video and computer game tournament, with more than 1.25 million participants globally battling for $2.5 million in prizes and national pride. Known as the tournament capable of launching professional careers for gamers and as a prime location for sponsorship announcements, the World Cyber Games has emerged as the leader in e-Sports for players, sponsors and spectators alike.
The pairing World Cyber Games with HDNet in itself marks a trend. Next generation video game consoles, such as the Xbox 360, will be enabled for high-definition (HD) play and recent studies have shown a spike in viewing HD programming by core gamers, even as their viewing of traditional TV is in decline.
Coverage of the US Final of the World Cyber Games will premiere on HDNet on Thursday, November 10th at 8:00 pm ET. The HDNet networks are available on Adelphia, Charter, DIRECTV, DISH Network, Insight, Mediacom, Time Warner Cable and more than 40 NCTC cable affiliate companies.
Additional airings will include:
Saturday November 12, 2005 - 3:00 pm ET & 10:00 pm ET
Sunday November 13, 2005 - 5:30 pm ET
Monday November 13, 2005 - 7:05 pm ET
Samsung Electronics is the worldwide sponsor of the World Cyber Games.
About The World Cyber Games
International Cyber Marketing (www.worldcybergames.com) is the global organizer of the World Cyber Games, the world's largest computer and video game festival, and is the licenser for all World Cyber Games interactive game tournaments to be held in about 67 countries in 2005. This year the winners of each national event series will compete for the world championship title and prizes valued at $430,000. Now in its fifth official year, the World Cyber Games has ushered in a new dimension of e-Sports where game enthusiasts can look forward to some of the most intense and dynamic video game action by the best players on the planet.
HDNet provides viewers with exciting and topical news, sports, music and entertainment programming. The network features up to 20 hours of original programming each week, all produced in the highest quality 1080i HDTV format - more original high-definition programming than any other network. HDNet news and entertainment includes original series "HDNet World Report," "Face 2 Face with Roy Firestone," "Art Mann Presents," "HDNet Concert Series," and "True Music," as well as every episode of the acclaimed Warner Bros. series "Smallville." Live sports productions include National Hockey League and Major League Soccer games and NASCAR auto racing. HDNet Movies, the company's second network, features a wide selection of major studios' theatrical releases - all uncut, unedited, and appearing in their original aspect ratio - as well as features produced and finished in true 1080i high-definition.
Co-founded by Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, and General Manager Philip Garvin, the HDNet networks are available on Adelphia, Charter, DIRECTV, DISH Network, Insight, Mediacom, Time Warner Cable and more than 40 NCTC cable affiliate companies. For more information visit www.hd.net.
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