E.W. Scripps Company, the nation’s fourth-largest local TV broadcaster, is pushing into esports, leading a $35 million funding round into Florida-based Misfits Gaming Group (MGG).
E.W. Scripps’ $10 million investment also calls for a content distribution and ad sales partnership, whereby Scripps will distribute MGG content through its linear and OTT platforms both in Florida and nationally, and increase Florida advertisers’ access to MGG’s young esports audience. As part of the deal, Scripps will also appoint a designee to Misfits’ board of directors.
MGG owns three esports teams participating in franchised leagues — including Florida Mayhem, the Florida Mutineers, and the eponymous Misfits Gaming — as well as a network of content creators, and an in-house media team. Founded by CEO Ben Spoont, the company distributes gaming content and original content for gaming audiences, marketing, and connects fans through live and online events.
Scripps will gain exclusive rights to a new original content slate from Misfits, enabling the esports org to gradually move its business away from merch and sponsorships and toward advertising dollars, the companies said.
“We are perfectly positioned, with our large Florida footprint, to leverage our linear stream and over-the-top distribution to carry all kinds of Misfits Gaming content,” Scripps local media president Brian Lawlor said in a statement, “from player profiles and interviews to team and league news — all aimed at connecting our advertisers with their young audiences.”
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