With Newzoo forecasting eSports revenues for 2016 exceeding $493 million, which is up over 51 percent from 2015, there’s more activity than ever in competitive gaming. The latest company to get into the eSports scene is SiriusXM.

Steve Cohen, senior vice president of sports programming at SiriusXM, said radio is a unique platform in that it connects experts with fans in a way that no other medium can for real-time advice and discussion.

“We’ve seen fans drawn to that kind of connection on our channels that cover more traditional sports, and we are seeing it with eSports as well,” Cohen told [a]listdaily. “Fans of anything want to get closer to the thing they love. Radio—if it is well-produced and entertaining—will do that for a listening audience. Our goal is to make gamers better, more engaged and more knowledgeable through shows like Machinima’s Inside eSports Radio.”

Hosting the new show on Bleacher Report blends well with the sheer amount of activity in the traditional sports business. The Philadelphia Sixers recently acquired Team Dignitas and Team Apex; Magic Johnson was part of a sports group that acquired Team Liquid; Los Angeles Rams lineman Rodger Saffold owns Rise Nation and Shaquille O’Neal and Alex Rodriguez are co-owners of Team NRG.

“We love the crossover,” Cohen said. “We’ve been covering teams and athletes in-depth for quite some time, not only on SiriusXM Bleacher Report Radio, but on our dedicated 24/7 channels—like SiriusXM NBA Radio and others. So these athletes and executives know our platform well and are often on as guests. ESports is another topic we can engage some of them on, and they enjoy the topic. Jeremy Lin or Rick Fox, for example, can come on SiriusXM and talk about their passion for both basketball and eSports. They are reaching fans of both, and making more fans as they do so.”

Cohen said SiriusXM is always on the lookout for what’s growing and what’s next, and they want to serve that audience that’s interested in games like League of Legends, Dota 2, Overwatch, Call of Duty and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO).


“ESports is great content that appeals to a nationwide audience,” Cohen said. “There are a tremendous number of interested listeners we can reach, and we can devote ourselves to producing the kind of expert, in-depth programming that we expect they’ll be drawn to.”

Given that eSports fans typically consume content digitally and on mobile devices, SiriusXM can cater to this audience.

“Our subscribers can tune in through the app, through the radio in their car or home, or through the computer,” Cohen said. “We are easy to use and can reach you wherever you are. That, along with our broad spectrum of programming, makes SiriusXM appealing to people of many ages and with many tastes, no matter where they live.”

Cohen said with 150 channels, SiriusXM appeals to many demographics.

“ESports fans are dedicated and loyal, and delivering them great programming every day is an important endeavor for us,” Cohen said. “We are not Arbitron-rated and we don’t track listenership for individual shows. Our spectrum of content is designed to appeal to as many listeners as we can and keep our subscribers engaged and happy throughout the year. Simply put, if you produce great content you will find an audience and it will grow.”

Jason Dimberg, senior vice president of programming at Machinima, said the eSports show covers eSports for existing fans.

“We’ll continue to report on, analyze and discuss the topics on the minds of the fans and players around the globe,” Dimberg said. “We also want to provide elements that can make the eSports world more accessible to people who may not be as familiar with the subject matter at the center. We’ll tell the human side of the players’ stories and provide insight to the lifestyles that surround the eSports world.”

As for SiriusXM, this initial Machinima and Bleacher Report partnership is just the beginning. “We are always on the lookout for more great content, and we are constantly building and improving, so stay tuned,” Cohen said.