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Activision partners with Facebook for esports streaming expansion

Asserting that esports is “a cultural phenomenon at its tipping point,” publisher Activision Blizzard announced that it will expand its MLG.tv streaming platform via a newly established partnership with Facebook.

The collaboration will result in the broadcast of live Major League Gaming events and eSports Report streams to Facebook’s userbase of 1.6 billion people starting next month.

Related: ESPN rolls out eSports-focused news site

Activision announced that Facebook will host streams from the MLG Anaheim Open, a two-day Call of Duty: Black Ops III tournament that starts June 10.

“Esports is an exciting space and continues to be a growing priority for us,” said Facebook’s Head of Global Sports Partnerships Dan Reed. “With over 1.6 billion people on the platform and a growing suite of VOD and live-streaming products that partners can use to increase engagement, Facebook is uniquely positioned to help esports fans connect around exciting moments and great esports content.”

Activision Blizzard has tapped veteran broadcaster Chris Puckett to deliver its daily eSports Report broadcasts, which will compile “up-to-the-minute premium highlights, interviews and news segments for a new generation of sports fans” as part of the company’s team-up with Facebook.

“Esports is a cultural phenomenon at its tipping point, and we’re excited to work with the (Interactive Advertising Bureau) to bring this message directly to advertisers as part of the 2016 Digital Content NewFronts,” said Activision Blizzard Media Networks Senior Vice President Mike Sepso. “The size of our digital network, coupled with our insights into this audience’s viewing habits, put us in a unique position to educate the advertising industry on how to safely target these viewers and reach them on their platform of choice.”

Activision acquired the business assets of Major League Gaming earlier this year, announcing its intention to create “the ESPN of esports” with its market expansion. Rival publisher Electronic Arts also entered the esports arena with the recent launch of its Competitive Gaming Division.