ESL hires TV veteran Hill to improve network coverage of eSports
ESL, the eSports company owned by Sweden-based media company Modern Times Group, has brought on board David Hill, a former senior executive at 21st Century Fox, to enhance the television production values of its events.
Hill will work exclusively with ESL on special projects with select game publishers and sponsors to develop premium eSports events through Hilly, the production company he launched after leaving 21st Century Fox in June 2015.
He will train ESL production teams on TV best practices and recruiting top eSports presenters and commentators.
ESL produces more than 20,000 hours of eSports programming per year for game titles including Riot’s 'League of Legends,' Blizzard Entertainment’s 'Overwatch' and Valve’s 'Counter Strike: Global Offensive.' Much of that content is streamed on the Twitch platform.
Hill said: “Being absolutely fair, it’s not the acme of television production. We’re going to make gaming [TV] network-ready, because we firmly believe the next big thing in entertainment is video gaming.”
ESL exec chairman Steven Roberts said Hill’s involvement in the industry is testament to the exploding popularity of eSports. “We saw that there’s an opportunity with David’s creative genius to elevate the overall level of our content production,” he said.
Hill, who previously served as chairman and chief executive of Fox Sports Media Group, has had a long career in TV, working on the launch of Sky Television in the UK and Eurosport, and creating Sky Sports, Sky’s specialist sports brand.
Meanwhile, MTG today reported record fourth quarter and full-year net sales of SKr5.02 billion ($576.35 million) and SKr17.3 billion, respectively, up 10 per cent and 6.7 per cent on the comparative 2015 figures.
Operating profit for the quarter rose to SKr554 million, up from SKr497 million, while the full-year figure came in at SKr1.35 billion, up from SKr756 million.