Some of the new events in this year’s Major League Gaming calendar will only be streamed to those who pony up a premium.
Not every event will have a premium pass attached to it; the Championship and Online Qualifiers will be exempt, while brand new events will not. The Winter Arena, which makes its debut this year, will be the first event to trial the new scheme.
A Winter Arena pass costs $20, and nets you access to every single match – 20 hours in all – over five HD streams. Players will be able to customise their viewing experience to layer audio and video, meaning you can watch all five at once, and video on demand replays will be come available immediately after each match.
“2012 is the year where we will push eSports even further and solidify it as a legitimate sustainable business, on par with the most successful leagues in the world. We need your help to make this happen,” MLG emphasised in the announcement post.
“Our goal at MLG will always be to give aspiring gamers a platform to compete, while broadcasting that competition to spectators and fans. We have done a good job of delivering a quality broadcast multiple times a year, but now it’s time for us to offer you more.
“With all of these additions comes added cost. For example, it costs roughly $100,000 just for travel, accommodations, and other expenses for all 32 players to get to NYC for our Arena event. We have amazing brands and partners that help cover the fees associated with our new offerings; however, we cannot continue to grow and bring you an expanded competition calendar unless we make some changes to the business model.”