HT&E is moving into gaming with a joint venture to create Australia's first city-based e-sports franchise league.
The former APN News & Media business has joined with Ikon Media & Entertainment to establish a new business, HT&E Events, which will partner UK-based Gfinity.
First venture for Gfinity eSports Australia is the city-based franchise league 'The Elite Series', which HT&E says will "enhance the complementary nature" of its existing radio, outdoor and digital businesses by providing unique content, targetted to audiences and "highly relevant" for brands.
The partnership will deliver Australian gamers a "clear and structured top-to-bottom competitive framework" within Australian e-sports. "A competition for enthusiasts at all levels - from the amateur at home, to the e-sports professional - it will for the first time offer a clear pathway between the two, as amateur players earn the right to compete alongside seasoned professionals," the company says.
Teams will compete weekly at dedicated e-sports venues, with each event broadcast live online and across other TV and media platforms. A 'Challenger Series' will launch later this year as the "battleground" for amateur players to compete against each other.
HT&E chief executive and managing director says HT&E Events will also manage other niche events for Australian audiences. "Ikon brings a depth of understanding and expertise in delivering experiences in sports, entertainment and media, making them the perfect partner as we move into this new area."
Pictured: The Gfinity Arena, the UK's first dedicated e-sports venue