Nippon Television Network Corporation (Nippon TV) has established AX Entertainment, a new eSports subsidiary company.
AX Entertainment will create its first eSports team, AXIZ, a multi-gaming group comprised of professional gamers from a range of genres. The first competition will see the team participate in RAGE Shadowverse Pro League, a professional online card game battleground. Players for AXIZ will bring awareness to Japan’s eSports scene by participating in professional leagues and appearing in linear TV shows.
In addition, the company will debut its first 50-minute eSports show, eGG (eSports Good Game), which will feature top professionals. It will also document players going through selection rounds, as well as the latest news in the world of eSports. eGG is set to stream online on Nippon TV’s catch-up service, Hulu Japan, TVer, GYAO! and OPENREC. The show is available as a finished program for international sales. This marks the first time a broadcaster in Japan will own an eSports team and produce an eSports show.
“As the demographic of television viewers in Japan continues to age, Nippon TV is faced with limited opportunities to come into contact with the younger generations in their [tweens and teens] and early twenties who do not spend time in front of the small screen,” stated Nippon TV’s eSports project team. “We decided to actively create opportunities to reach the non-TV viewing demographic by entering the globally expanding eSports arena, a business model that focuses on the youth and enables them to be the primary players and audiences.”