World Series of Video Gaming on GameplayHD in September 2006

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Sean Mota

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may not be the National Football League, but video gaming is moving way beyond its origins in kids' basements to a growing presence on TV. In November, Major League Gaming (MLG) will begin airing tournaments on Saturday mornings on the USA Network (NYSE:GE - News), which can be seen in 89 million U.S. homes. There's already a four-year-old World Series of Video Gaming, founded by the William Morris Agency Inc., which will be shown on the Voom high-definition channel starting in September. And DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE:DTV - News) will air three tourneys via satellite in August and then launch its own league in 2007 in partnership with Microsoft.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/bw/20060707/bs_bw/b3993051
 
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Voom HD Networks, a television channel that exclusively airs high-definition video content, has teamed with Microsoft, NCsoft, and the World Series of Video Games to broadcast three tournaments on the network. Voom said it tapped in to the Xbox Live network to tape a 192-person Project Gotham Racing 3 tournament in May. When the tourney broadcasts on August 16-19 on the network, it will feature four hours of analysis, highlights, and interviews. Voom is already airing the February 2006 Guild Wars World Champions, and it said the next Guild Wars tourney--to be held August 24 in Germany--will be seen in their full glory on Voom in October. In September, the $1 million World Series of Video Games will appear on the network.
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VOOM'S GAMEPLAY HD ESTABLISHES ITSELF AS TV'S PRIME DESTINATION FOR GAMING WITH EXPANDING PORTFOLIO OF KEY RELATIONSHIPS AND CONTENT

Groundbreaking High-Definition Gaming Channel Expands Tournament Coverage with World Series of Video Games, Microsoft's PGR 3 Tourney and NC Soft's Guild Wars Faction Competition


San Francisco, CA – July 20, 2006 – Voom HD Networks GamePlay HD, the high-definition channel leading the next generation of television for gamers, today unveiled new broadcast pacts with The World Series of Video Games (WSVG), Microsoft®, and NCsoft®. The announcement was made today at a press conference in San Francisco by Mark DeAngelis, Vice President of Programming and Development at VOOM HD Networks, the largest and most diverse collection of high-definition channels available.

Explained DeAngelis, "There is exploding interest in competitive gaming, and well-produced television coverage is going to be critical to the growth of this sector. At GAMEPLAY HD, we combine a passion for gaming with a record for creating award-winning broadcast programming. We intend to be the best source anywhere for the world's top competitions." He continued, "After just four months on air, we are incredibly fortunate to be getting the support and partnership of the most dynamic organizations in this space."

WORLD SERIES OF VIDEO GAMES

GAMEPLAY HD has sealed a deal with the World Series of Video Games (WSVG), a tournament series with events in the United States, Asia and Europe. An initiative of competition organizer Games Media Properties, WSVG is the first video-game competition circuit on multiple gaming platforms that culminates in final rounds to determine true world champions under standardized rules and procedures. Over the course of the tournament, $1 million will be distributed in cash and prizing.

The current agreement with GAMEPLAY HD includes coverage of the first three circuit events of the 2006 WSVG: the Lanwar competition in Louisville, KY (held June 16-19, 2006/air date September 13-15), DreamHack LAN party in Jonkoping, Sweden (held June 17-21, 2006 /air date September 28-29), the Intel Summer Championship in Dallas (held July 5-9, 2006/air date TBD).

Matt Ringel, Games Media Properties President and CEO, commented, "We're looking forward to seeing the World Series of Video Games brought to viewers by GamePlay HD in a way that takes video game competition coverage to the next level with next-gen production values." Mark DeAngelis noted that 'Matt Ringel has a real vision for the expansion of competitive gaming, and the role that television will play in its future. The WSVG's prominence makes this an important and dynamic relationship for us."


MICROSOFT'S PGR 3 Online Tournament

GAMEPLAY HD paired up with Microsoft® to create an unprecedented television event, with its coverage of the Project Gotham Racing 3 international online tournament. For the May 2006 online regionals, GAMEPLAY HD was allowed to tap into Xbox Live, Microsoft's Xbox online game service, to create a virtual television studio, with eight simultaneous in-game cameras, feeds from live players, and a director calling the camera shots. The GAMEPLAY HD setup captured the full competitive fury and incredible graphics of Project Gotham Racing 3 in high definition and 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound, as 192 players from Europe, Asia and North America (culled from an original 30,000 entrants) vied for survival. Then GAMEPLAY HD followed the finalists to Milan, Italy, where the concluding round was held at the Lamborghini factory.

"This is the first global gaming championship series in high definition, and Microsoft gave us a unique opportunity to do something that has never been done on TV before. It has been a thrilling series to produce, and we're going to deliver audiences a totally new, action-packed experience," said DeAngelis.

Of all the ground-breaking next-generation games that launched with the Xbox 360, Project Gotham Racing 3 was chosen because it is the definitive, next-generation racing video game. Harnessing the power of the Xbox 360, Project Gotham Racing 3 showcases revolutionary graphics, online capabilities, and user generated content, while allowing gamers to play cooperatively online in career championships, showcase their skills, download new content, and allow thousands of players to watch races online and in real time with GothamTV.

The Project Gotham Racing 3 tournament show, which will include four hours of dramatic game highlights, analysis of the action, and interviews with players, will premiere August 16-19th.

NCsoft®'S GUILD WARS® WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

This month, GAMEPLAY HD has been airing all the drama of the first GUILD WARS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS, taped in Taipei, Taiwan in February 2006. Now, NCsoft is teaming up with the channel once again for the next World Championship event, this time to be held in Germany on August 24th, with competitors vying for dominance in Guild Wars Factions™. The televised series is expected to reach air in October of 2006.

DeAngelis said, "NCsoft signed on with us as an early believer in the GAMEPLAY HD vision and the 2005 World Championships turned out to be a very exciting event, and the basis for a television series we're very proud of. We couldn't be happier that they've decided to re-up with us."

The three agreements announced today follow a number of earlier tournament agreements, most notably, the Global Gaming League-with whom GAMEPLAY HD worked on their first ever competition coverage-for seven of their events, and Blizzard Worldwide Invitational.

GAMEPLAY HD launched on February 1st of this year, and is the only network providing continuous high definition video game programming on television. Gameplay HD is part of VOOM HD Networks, the largest and most diverse suite of high-definition channels nationwide and currently available nationally on DISH Networks. GAMEPLAY HD can be found on DISH channel 9485.
http://www.joystiq.com/2006/07/20/hd-gaming-channel-adds-to-your-viewing-pleasure/
 

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