MSG Networks announced a new docuseries called Knicks Gaming earlier this week. The program, which will debut on May 8, will follow the NBA Knicks’ esports affiliate in the brand new NBA 2K League that tipped off on Tuesday.
“MSG Networks is excited to bring viewers and gamers unique access to New York’s newest professional franchise, Knicks Gaming,” said MSG Networks’ Senior Vice President of Marketing and Content Strategy Kevin Marotta in a statement. “With the dramatic rise in popularity of eSports, we have a great opportunity to share with fans all the behind-the-scenes interaction among the team, and their weekly preparation for games.”
Unfortunately, Knicks Gaming went 1-2 in their opening games of the season on Wednesday, finishing last in Group B of the first of three mini tournaments to be played over the next few months. That means the Knicks won’t be in action during that tournament’s playoffs this weekend.
During the NBA 2K League’s inaugural season, expect to see a lot of effort in drumming up fan interest. A familiar face in MSG’s docuseries that may help bring in viewers will be actor Jerry Ferrara of the hit show Entourage. Ferrara is the Knicks Gaming’s lead scout and creative consultant.
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Here’s what else you need to know:
– The MSG show is a joint-venture between the NBA and Take-Two Interactive, creator of the 2K video game.
– The series will take the viewer behind-the-scenes at practices and competition. Spectrum, the company which powers The Knicks Gaming Training Center, will receive exposure throughout the show.
Ever since the first ping pong ball was plucked on draft day, the NBA 2K League has done a great job of marketing to fans. While the MSG Networks’ new show will bring viewers closer to the action, other teams have been searching for ways of doing the same.
For example, Kings Guard Gaming, the Sacramento Kings’ esports franchise, recently announced a partnership with CEEK Virtual Reality. CEEK headsets inside the team’s state-of-the-art training facility will show VR concerts and performances produced just for fans.