A televised special featuring Nintendo’s Mario Kart 8 will air on Disney XD in December, continuing the network’s foray into eSports coverage.
The program will pit teenage teams against one another in a Mario Kart 8 racing tournament, with popular YouTube stars providing commentary and player coaching.
Mario Kart 8: Clash of Karts is the second major eSports special spearheaded by Disney this year, following up on a similar program centered around the Nintendo World Championships in October. Filmed live at the Nintendo World Championships 2015 event in June, Disney XD’s program followed 16 competitors as they competed for top honors in Super Metroid, Splatoon, Super Mario Maker, and other Nintendo-published games.
“Our first experiment earlier in the year was a formal event that was like a decathlon of eSports,” Disney XD general manager Marc Buhaj said in an interview with Fortune. “We wanted to focus on a single game with this special and have a more intimate event.”
“eSports is something that’s blossoming, but it’s still early days,” Buhaj continued. “How it’ll be covered for the kids’ audience is still something that remains to be seen.”
Fortune reports that Disney XD recently renewed its gaming-inspired scripted comedy series Gamer’s Guide to Pretty Much Everything for a second season. The network is also airing Gaming Show (In My Parents’ Garage), a teen-oriented talk show that features game reviews and “Let’s Play”-styled gameplay segments.
“With eSports we’re seeing the growth of a new business,” Buhaj explained. “We need to make sure that our game shows are appropriate to the folks watching. If we see a gaming opportunity that pops up, we’ll look at it.”
Mario Kart 8: Clash of Karts stars YouTube personalities AtomicMari, Strawburry 17, SethBling, and Andre of Black Nerd Comedy. The one-hour special will air at 8 p.m. EST on Saturday, December 5th.
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