Activision Blizzard has joined forces with Steve Bornstein, the former CEO of ESPN and the NFL Network, and Mike Sepso, the former president of Major League Gaming, to create a new division devoted to working with eSports. Blizzard has not revealed what exact role the as-yet-unnamed division will take, but we know that Bornstein will take the role of its chairman, while Sepso will become senior vice president.
Bornstein is already credited with helping ESPN to expand and define their network, as well as turning the NFL Network into the most widely distributed sports network in history. Sepso has said that he was always "a big fan" of Blizzard and that the opportunity "seemed like a chance to fulfill a lot of big goals." Bornstein also commented on his new position.
"Last year, Activision Blizzard created entertainment that was viewed and played by over 150 million people for more than 13 billion hours — this dwarfs the engagement that fans spend on all other sports. I believe eSports will rival the biggest traditional sports leagues in terms of future opportunities, and between advertising, ticket sales, licensing, sponsorships and merchandising, there are tremendous growth areas for this nascent industry. I'm excited to help Activision Blizzard further its leadership position in this exciting growth area." — Steve Bornstein
Blizzard has declined to state whether the new division will support the company's existing eSports activities or whether it will start a new league of its own.