Comcast, SK Telecom team up to join esports boom

South Korean firm SK Telecom and Comcast formally established a new international esports venture as both companies look to capitalize on mounting interest in competitive gaming, according to a report on Friday.

Continue Reading Below

Initially announced last February, the joint venture is called SK Telecom CS T1, in a reference to each company’s initials and SK’s esports franchise, T1. The overall deal is valued at $92 million, according to ZDNet.

Seoul-based SK Telecom will control a 55 percent equity stake in the entity. Comcast and a third firm, Highland Capital, will be minority shareholders. The esports organization will have active teams across several popular gaming titles, including League of Legends, Fortnite, Apex Legends and Hearthstone.

“This joint venture marks a significant step for Comcast Spectacor’s esports business as we expand globally and join forces with the most successful League of Legends team in history,” Tucker Roberts, president of Comcast Spectacor’s gaming division, said in a statement last February. “We’re excited to form a premier esports organization with SK Telecom and grow our businesses in new directions.”

The esports industry has rapidly expanded in recent years, attracting new ventures from the NBA, the NFL and various other entities. The global esports market is expected to exceed $1 billion in revenue this year, according to research firm Newzoo.

Earlier this week, U.S. retailer Five Below led a $12 million financing round for Nerd Street Gamers, a Philadelphia-based firm that builds esports venues.

Representatives for Comcast and SK Telecom did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for further comment on the initiative.

GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE

Comcast Spectacor is the parent company of the Wells Fargo Center, the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers and the Philadelphia Fusion esports franchise. The Fusion are not part of the joint venture of SK Telecom.

SK Telecom CS T1 will stream content from its esports franchises, sell merchandise and look for new sponsorships and media rights opportunities, according to ZDNet.