CW testing the eSports waters with Mortal Kombat tournament special

Chasing the Cup: Mortal Kombat X
Thanks in part to the popularity of Twitch streaming, eSports are moving closer to the mainstream, and TV networks are beginning to take notice. Now the CW is hoping that the same audience that made Arrow and The Flash popular will also be interested eSports.

To start, CW has picked up the rights to air Machinima’s Chasing the Cup, which follows players competing in ESL’s Mortal Kombat X tournament. The first five episodes of the series, which will air as Mortal Kombat X: Machinima’s Chasing the Cup, will be shown on the streaming-only CW Seed.

The final episode, which focuses on the championship of the ESL Mortal Kombat X Pro League Finals where players face off over a $100,000 prize pool, will air on the channel proper, Variety reports. This is not only a first for the channel, but a first for eSports, as until now they have only been aired on cable-only networks like ESPN.

CW is treading lightly in this first outing, and seems to be looking at this as more of a test than anything. “We’re testing to see if this could be ‘sports for CW,’” executive VP of marketing and digital programs Rick Haskins told Variety.

Despite the network’s hopes that eSports could appeal to its audience, it doesn’t want to overwhelm them at first. This is why the channel is airing Machinima’s Chasing the Cup instead of the actual final. “The actual event is eight hours long,” Haskins said. “God love ’em, but I didn’t want to do eight hours of that on TV.”

It seems 2016 could be a big year for eSports. Earlier this month ESPN began hosting dedicated eSports coverage on its website, while TBS announced it would be airing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournaments.

The special will air on the CW on Monday, February 15 at 8 pm ET, and the first few episodes of Mortal Kombat X: Machinima’s Chasing the Cup are available now at CW Seed.

Gaming

Spawn creator suggests the antihero could appear in ‘Mortal Kombat 11’

Spawn creator Todd McFarlane hinted that the comic book antihero could join the cast of Mortal Kombat 11 during a Reddit AMA. Spawn previously appeared in SoulCalibur II on the original Xbox.
Movies & TV

Do you have questions about Hulu? We’ve got answers

Not sure which Hulu subscription is right for you? We're here to help. This is your complete guide to Hulu and Hulu with Live TV, including content offerings for each service, pricing, internet requirements, and more.
Home Theater

Kill your cable and switch to streaming with our painless guide

If you're going to quit cable or satellite for a streaming TV solution, you're going to want to get it right the first time. We've outlined exactly how to get started, step by step. Follow our lead, and you'll never look back.
Gaming

‘Magic: The Gathering’ enters esports relevance with $10 million prize pool

Wizards of the Coast is pushing Magic: The Gathering into esports relevance with a prize pool of $10 million across the tabletop version and Magic: The Gathering Arena. Will the game be able to compete with Hearthstone and Overwatch?
Home Theater

What’s new on Netflix and what’s leaving in January 2019

Our complete list of what's new on Netflix for January 2019 and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on your bingeing, and also ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming ether.
Movies & TV

Our first look at 'The Punisher' season 2 hints at January 2019 premiere

The Punisher is getting a second season on Netflix, with Jon Bernthal returning to play Marvel Comics' gun-toting antihero, Frank Castle. Here's everything we know about season 2 of The Punisher so far.
Movies & TV

'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' is one of the hero's best movies ever

One of Spider-Man's most memorable big-screen adventures, animated feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse simultaneously feels like nothing we've ever seen before and a tale that feels familiar in all the best ways.
Movies & TV

Marvel’s ‘Doctor Strange’ sequel conjures up a director and a release date

Doctor Strange director and co-writer Scott Derrickson will return to helm the Sorcerer Supreme's next big-screen adventure. Filming will begin in 2020, after Strange's mysterious Avengers: Endgame fate is resolved.
Movies & TV

Pedro Pascal officially cast as 'The Mandalorian' as Disney show fills out cast

The Mandalorian, Jon Favreau's live-action Star Wars series planned for Disney's streaming video service, will be one of the most expensive television shows ever made. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Movies & TV

A ‘Venom’ sequel is on its way, and Spider-Man could play a role

'Venom' screenwriter Jeff Pinker confirms that a follow-up to Sony's Spider-Man spin-off is in the works. Could a certain friendly neighborhood webslinger join the action? Pinker says that it's "not impossible."
Home Theater

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ season 2 gets a new, Spock-heavy trailer

CBS has released a new trailer for Star Trek: Discovery season 2, which premieres January 17 on CBS All Access. The new trailer features series newcomers Spock and Christopher Pike prominently.
Movies & TV

Netflix is testing an instant scene-replay feature, but would you use it?

Ever felt like Netflix was missing a scene-replay button? The company is currently trialing a feature that lets you skip back to the start of the scene you just watched, though early tests appear to be annoying some viewers.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Movies & TV

Celebrate the 25th anniversary of ‘The X-Files’ with the show’s 10 best episodes

The X-Files premiered 25 years ago, so here are the 10 best episodes of the award-winning sci-fi series. From alien-abduction drama to hilarious satires, these are the best episodes from all 11 seasons of the hit series.