BSkyB backs first worldwide professional video gaming league

BSkyB is to extend its video gaming activities as the Championship Gaming Series (CGS), the first worldwide professional video gaming league, reaches the UK. CGS, a joint venture between BSkyB, Star TV and Direct TV, offers gamers the chance to become paid professionals and earn cash prize money through a series of online competitions, live qualifying events, a UK Championship, and an international World Championship final in California in November, 2007.

The UK online qualifying rounds are now open. Gamers can register by visiting: www.thecgs.com. Successful gamers will be invited to take part in a live qualifier event in Birmingham in August, prior to the UK Championship in London in September. The UK Championship event will conclude with the unveiling of two teams representing the UK cities of London and Birmingham. The teams will be led by General Managers, who will each choose ten players to receive league contracts and begin their careers as CGS pro gamers. The London and Birmingham franchises will then proceed to represent the UK at the CGS World Championship in Los Angeles in October.

Annual compensation and prize money for CGS gamers worldwide will total approximately£2.5 million in 2007.

The league will be supported by online and on-air promotion from the JV partners. In the UK, this will include on-going CGS updates via the Sky Games website, www.skygames.com. Additionally, the regional qualifying events, UK Championship, and international World Championship will be televised on Sky One and Sky Two.

Sky recently launched Sky Games, a service which allows gamers to download a wide selection of video games to their PC. With an accompanying interactive TV service, Sky is developing the Sky Games brand as a multi-platform gaming service. This will include the expansion of the PC-based service and the launch of new games products for mobile phones. Registrations for CGS will also be made available through skygames.com in future.

Mike Darcey, Chief Operating Officer, BSkyB, comments: "We know that many of our customers enjoy gaming so our involvement with the CGS is a natural fit with our entertainment business, and in particular our multi-platform Sky Games service. We look forward to bringing the excitement of the CGS into the homes of our customers, while also expanding our own gaming services".

CGS Commissioner Andy Reif adds "We are proud to work with BSkyB in launching the first global professional gaming league. We're excited to watch the best gamers in the UK compete for a CGS contract and battle with the world's best on a global stage. With leading entertainment brands such as Sky and Sky Games as strategic partners, we plan to bring pro gaming to a broad new audience."

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About Championship Gaming Series

Headquartered in Los Angeles, CA, the Championship Gaming SeriesTM (CGS) is the first international professional video gaming league. Launching in 2007, CGS features teams of the world's best gamers from North America, Latin America, the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. The league will distribute entertainment content to more than 100,000,000 households worldwide via DIRECTV in North America and Latin America, BSkyB in the UK, and STAR in Asia and Australia. Founded by DirecTV, BSkyB and Star, CGS partners include Mountain Dew, Dell XPS, Xbox 360, and IGN.

About BSkyB

Sky is the UK's leading entertainment company and operates the most comprehensive multichannel, multi-platform television service in the UK and Ireland. Around 21 million viewers in 8.6 million households enjoy an unprecedented choice of movies, news, entertainment and sports channels and interactive services on Sky Digital, the UK and Ireland's most watched digital television service.

Sky's aim is to offer customers unparalleled choice in content, delivered through innovative and technological advanced platforms that best serve the demands of today's viewers. In delivering entertainment through the TV, PC and mobile, customers have more control and flexibility over what they watch and how they watch it.

For more information:

Stephen Gaynor

British Sky Broadcasting

0207 705 3446

Stephen.gaynor@bsky.com

For Championship Gaming Series:

Arseny Tseytlin

Fleishman-Hillard

+44 (0) 207-395-7044

Arseny.tseytlin@fleishmaneurope.com


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