South Korean network OGN bringing esports programming to North America with $100m investment
Esports producer to partner with PUBG Corp to livestream and broadcast upcoming National PUBG League
Esports network OGN has announced today that it will invest around $100 million to venture beyond its Asian market and broadcast live esports events in North America. To this end, it will partner with PUBG Corp to produce and broadcast the debut of the upcoming National PUBG League (NPL).
OGN is a television network primarily based in South Korea that produces gaming and esports content in the region, focusing on StarCraft adnd League of Legends. This partnership with PUBG Corp to kick off the NPL will be its first broadcasting endeavor outside of Asia, and also marks the first official, professional North American league for PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.
NPL is planned to start in January, and will have a prize pool of $1 million.
To house this league, OGN has begun construction on a 35,000 square foot arena in Manhattan Beach, California. The facility will also host the OGN Super League and OGM Super Match events, which feature a rotation of popular games and are planned for launch next year.
"We were the first to formulate broadcast for a linear TV channel entirely dedicated to esports, and based on that experience and expertise we always look at the global market," said OGN head of production Gary Kim in an interview with CNBC. "So far our content has been translated to different languages [and to different countries] all over the world, but we never had the chance to input a structure in the US.
"To expand into the global market, we need North America. Many prominent game developers in are in the US, and we want to work closely with them."