IMG, the international sports and entertainment company, has extended its global media rights distribution agreement with PGL, the esports tournament organizer, until 2025.
Under the new deal, announced today (March 30), the agency will continue to serve as PGL’s exclusive partner for media, sponsorship, and data rights for the esports company’s entire 2023 to 2025 events portfolio.
The agreement, which extends an arrangement first signed in October 2021, sees IMG set to distribute television coverage of major esports events from titles including Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) and Dota.
The last extension between the two parties was signed last year.
The renewed tie-up builds on IMG’s previous media and sponsorship collaborations with PGL, including the CS:GO Major Championship 2022 in Antwerp, which recorded a peak viewership of 2.1 million and is claimed to have broken the record for the biggest attendance of any indoor esports event, with over 20,000 attendees for the final.
Currently, Romania-based PGL is running the Western Europe and North America rounds of the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC), the official tournament format of the popular Dota 2 video game.
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With 50.2 million total views and a peak audience of 195,000 so far, DPC is regarded as one of the biggest esports tournaments.
Silviu Stroie, PGL Esports chief executive, said, “We are delighted to continue our partnership with IMG. Over the last few years, we have come together to propel esports to new horizons, setting the benchmark for rights and sponsorship growth in the industry.
“We are excited to drive this partnership forward and add greater value to all our partners and events.”
Joe Jenkins, IMG Media commercial manager of esports, added, “PGL has established itself as a frontrunner in esports production, producing some of the most sought-after tournaments on the calendar.
“The last few years have witnessed a rapid rise in the popularity and commercial viability of competitive CSGO & Dota 2 events, and we look forward to helping PGL capitalize on the vast potential of its impressive event portfolio.”
Meanwhile, Unikrn the Entain-owned video games and esports betting platform, has entered into a multi-year global partnership with esports entertainment company Blast.
Through the tie-up, the Unikrn logo and branding will feature across Blast's event coverage and promotion, including fan-led activations, social giveaways, broadcast integration, and branding at the BlastPremier tournament series and upcoming Blast.tv Paris Major.
Entain, the UK-based sports betting and gambling company, took its first steps into the esports and skill-based wagering market in 2022, with Unikrn now live in Brazil and Canada and the brand rolling out to further markets this year.