I was browsing one of my favorite gaming sites when I came across an article about Major League Gaming gaining viewership in the 18 – 24 male age group. You can read the entire article at gamespot.
One shocking quote from the article, “Today, the MLG announced that more than 3.5 million people tuned in online or turned out in person to view the 2011 Pro Circuit season over its eight-month, six-event run. Those viewership figures are a record for the e-sports industry, the organization said. What’s more, the MLG’s reach among the 18-24 male demographic is larger than that of a number of cable TV networks.” The cable TV networks that they beat includes; Comedy Central, TBS, FX, and MTV.
I’m pretty surprised that they beat the number of viewers for Comedy Central, which has a pretty high male viewership especially with shows like Tosh.O and South Park. I don’t know many 18-24 men that watch MTV anymore, since most of their shows seem slanted towards the female audience.
From the article it appears that Starcraft 2 is the main draw for both players and viewers, but there is a strong following for Call of Duty games and other first person shooters. I know a lot of people like to watch Youtube videos (me one of them) of matches.
I think this is great news overall, it seems like pro-gaming is continuing to gain steam, authority, and validity. I’m sure this news will drive more players to try their hand at it. Especially with the tournament prizes seem to increase with each passing season. One million dollars was awarded during 2011, and I’m sure it might even be close to double that if not next year then the following.