BSkyB will broadcast the first professional video games league, the Championship Gaming Series, to UK audiences later this year.
The league consists of online competitions, live qualifying events, a UK Championship, and an international World Championship final taking place in California during November.
Live qualifiers will take place in Birmingham during August prior to a UK Championship in London in September. This will unveil the two winning teams representing the UK at the CGS World Championship in October. Annual compensation and prize money for CGS gamers will be in the region of 2.5 million.
The regional qualifying events, UK Championship, and International World Championship will all be televised on Sky One and Sky Two using new technology which apparently transmits the games with a greater degree of quality.
It will be supported by online and on-air promotion, which will include on-going CGS updates via the Sky Games website.
"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,” said Mike Darcey, chief operating officer at BSkyB. We look forward to bringing the excitement of the CGS into the homes of our customers, while also expanding our own gaming services".
Elsewhere, Sky recently launched Sky Games, a service which allows gamers to download video games to their PC, and is developing the brand as a multi-platform gaming service which will include the expansion of the PC-based service and the launch of new games for mobile phones.