ENDEMOL, MASHABLE AND LACK OF ESPORTS CONTENT
TNL Take: My main themes around eSports tend to focus on two areas:
- Lets not screw this up and build towards a bright future
- The need for good content
Great games and moments like "Odell Beckham Jr.'s Catch" are definitely needed to drive NFL's content machine.
However, I'd add that "shoulder programming" like SportsCenter, NFL Sunday Pre-Game Shows, 30 for 30 and Hard Knocks are just as important as the games themselves.
And this is exactly what eSports is missing.
From the conversations I've had, this is more a "when" than "if" - from startups to large Media companies.
Endemol Shine's eSports show Legends of Gaming will be distributed through Mashable's platforms across web, mobile, social and OTT.
I both like and dislike this deal for two reasons.
/01 LIKE: PROFIT
This is the 3rd Season of Legends of Gaming which also has several local versions in France, Germany and Brazil.
This is basically Netherlands based Endemol's overall content strategy with their shows like Big Brother and Deal or No Deal - mass product that can be customized for local audiences.
Relatively scalable + localization opportunity + Branded Content + Licensing.
Win + Win + Win + Win = Profit
/02 DISLIKE CONTENT
It's the lowest common denominator type of content.
It's been done a million times before.
Why should Endemol care if content is bad if they're making money?
Because I believe that audiences are starving for smart, even controversial, content.
That's why shows like The Night Of and OJ: Made In America are capturing the water cooler moments.
[I've probably seen 300+ documentaries in my life. ESPN's 30 for 30 on OJ was the best Documentary I've ever seen.]
That's why Vice keeps winning.
Further, if you're like UK based Ginx with a 24/7 eSports channel - aren't you looking for this type of content? What about globally in 5 years?
So lets start making smarter, compelling, story-driven eSports content.
The audience is there.
While I disagree with a few ways Riot is dealing with their eSports growth, they know one thing very well: Content.
I'd highly recommend spending 20mins watching this the first episode of Riot's new League of Legends Documentary series, Live/Play.
This is the type of content that eSports needs.