Esportz Network in Irvine says its new “Gamer Hour” program is a fresh way to reach video game enthusiasts through the draw of its celebrity guests.
The show, which is produced by Reuters Broadcast Solutions and Esportz Network, is available globally on Fite.TV, as well as more than 50 media distribution platforms, including YouTube, Twitch and Instagram video.
Show host Chris Puckett interviews top pro athletes, musicians, comedians, and actors about their love of gaming.
The weekly show appeals to a broad audience including dedicated and casual gamers; it airs on 6 p.m. on Tuesdays. The seventh episode aired on Dec. 1.
Esports encompasses competitive tournaments of multiplayer video games for spectators and features professional gamers.
The Esportz Network acts as an ESPN of sorts for the gaming world.
Esportz CEO and President Mark Thimmig told the Business Journal on Nov. 23 that the first five shows of the Gamer Hour produced more than a million views on just three of the distribution channels.
Thimmig said the Gamer Hour has been using celebrities “that have a much broader appeal to consumer products companies.” Esportz makes money from the sponsors underwriting the program.
“We’re growing nicely. We’re now looking for additional investment because the opportunities that are coming to us are just substantial,” Thimmig said.
The Gamer Hour is ripe for sponsorship from automotive companies, snack food companies and drinks, the company says. The audience tends to be between 20 and 40 years old, according to Thimmig.
Puckett’s recent celebrity guests in the Gamer Hour’s debut season include NBA players Josh Hart, Thomas Bryant and Grayson Allen, as well as NFL wide receiver Kendrick Bourne.
In addition to Gamer Hour, Esportz Network also plans to add another program by the end of this year and will be moving into “video podcasting” along with its news and other programs.
Heading into the holiday season with even more people playing games at home, here are some other recent gaming developments:
• Irvine-based Blizzard Entertainment debuted a new game, “Shadowlands: World of Warcraft” on Nov. 23. Looking even further ahead, Blizzard says its Blizzconline online fanfest on Feb. 19-20 “will be free to watch and engage in.” The massive event usually draws tens of thousands to Anaheim and last year’s standard ticket cost $229.
• Vizio Inc., the TV titan run by OC entrepreneur William Wang, said its TVs and sound bars are available for purchase at GameStop.com in a boon for gamers.
Vizio says the latest retail channel “makes it easier than ever for gamers to complete their gaming experience and connect the newly-released gaming consoles’’ to the company’s products. Earlier, in October, the company introduced a software update known as AMD FreeSync technology to its 2021 TV collection to improve speed and visual presentation for gamers.
• HyperX, the gaming division of Kingston Technology Inc. in Fountain Valley said last month its HyperX Heroes program now includes 25 global influencers, to spread the word that “we’re all gamers.” The HyperX Heroes program includes Grammy-nominated artist Post Malone, Gordon Hayward from the NBA, JuJu Smith-Schuster from the NFL as well as gaming stars Pokimane and Daigo.