'Call Of Duty' Maker Activision Blizzard Buys Gaming League, Plans 'ESPN Of E-sports'

Videogame maker Activision Blizzard Inc. said Monday it bought the business of Major League Gaming, adding that the acquisition will be the foundation of its e-sports broadcast network. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. "Our acquisition of Major League Gaming's business furthers our plans to create the ESPN of e-sports," Bobby Kotick, Activision Blizzard chief executive, said in a statement. "MLG's ability to create premium content and its proven broadcast technology platform -- including its live streaming capabilities -- strengthens our strategic position in competitive gaming." Santa Monica, Calif.-based Activision Blizzard, which has developed popular games such as "Call of Duty" and "Guitar Hero", estimated e-sports to reach more than 100 million unique viewers, an audience the company expects to grow to more than 300 million viewers by 2017. Shares of Activision Blizzard rose 0.5% in late trading Monday after ending the regular session down 2.8%.

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