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SK Telecom, Comcast start an Esports joint venture

Oct 12,2019
SK Telecom launched a joint Esports venture with U.S. cable provider Comcast, the telecommunications firm announced Friday.

SK Telecom said its goal is to lead the global Esports industry that is estimated to be worth 3 trillion won ($2.5 billion) by 2022. The value of the joint venture stands at 110 billion won, according to the mobile carrier.

SK Telecom said the joint venture, dubbed SK Telecom CS T1, will use the two companies’ global networks alongside its OTT (over-the-top) service, 5G network, media technologies and content creation abilities to expand its Esports business. T1 comes from the name of SK Telecom’s Esports team, SK Telecom T1.

The two companies plan to create an Esports fashion business, according to SK Telecom.

SK Telecom and Comcast laid the groundwork for the joint venture at MWC 2019 in Barcelona, Spain, in February. The telecom company will own 55 percent of SK Telecom CS T1 shares, while Comcast and Highland Capital Management are the second and the third largest shareholders, respectively. In total, they invested $41 million into the joint venture.

It is the first time that Comcast has invested in an Esports venture led by a foreign firm, according to SK Telecom.

Headquartered in Seoul, the company will discover new business opportunities, manage clubs in Asia and create specialized content. The company also has a branch in Los Angeles, which will take care of sports clubs in North America.

“Esports has become an industry that can be developed for export with the establishment of T1,” said a spokesperson for SK Telecom in a statement. “With the competitiveness of the two companies and the brand value of T1, we will rapidly spread around the world and expand collaboration with Esports operators globally.”

BY JIN MIN-JI [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]


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