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TV network deals sought for Major League Gaming events

Major League Gaming, organisers of numerous multiplayer championships and community tournaments across the US is seeking additional television coverage, hiring the former head of CBS sports to secure new deals.

Major League Gaming, organisers of numerous multiplayer championships and community tournaments across the US is seeking additional television coverage, hiring the former head of CBS sports to secure new deals.

According to broadcastingcable.com, MLG has hired Neal Pilson, who consults for the Arena Football League, NASCAR and the Olympics, to actively seek and secure television broadcasting deals for a range of MLG tournaments and competitions.

The seven tournaments being offered to networks include competition in Halo, Super Smash Brothers Melee and Tekken 5, amongst others. Competition prize money is said to be USD 1 million, and the 2005 championships will be taking place in New York in January.

The rights for television coverage are expected to begin with the forthcoming 2006-2007 gaming season, which begins shortly after the 2005 championships. CEO Michael Sepso confirmed that the existing relationships with MTV and ESPN relate to one-off events, rather than the ongoing programming schedule the company is currently seeking.

Further collaboration with MTV may well be a possibility however, as the multinational broadcaster recently announced an increase in its game related programming.

The network will be running a series of specialist gaming programmes across MTV, MTV2, mtvU, MTV.com and other channel outlets in a special 'Gamerz Week' beginning November 20th. The specialist programming will coincide with the American launch of Microsoft's next generation Xbox 360 console.

MLG currently offers an online webcast and video-on-demand service, and is looking at new and more significant ways to promote its services through dedicated television coverage.

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Paul Loughrey

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