Venture capitalist Stratton Sclavos has launched Players Ntwrk, a digital gaming and entertainment network operated by Vision Esports Inc., a company he created and privately funded.
The network, announced April 13, will initially focus on broadcasting live events and celebrity gameplay on Twitch. It will also produce talk shows and other content featuring athletes, musicians, influencers, as well as esports players, according to Sclavos.
A former partner at Beverly Hills-based Vision Venture Partners, Sclavos was an investor in Beverly Hills-based esports company Echo Fox founded by Rick Fox.
In October, Fox accused his business partners, including Sclavos, of multiple instances of fraud after those partners attempted to remove Fox from the company he founded. Fox ended up leaving Echo Fox and settling lawsuits, while Sclavos continued to explore opportunities in the esports and entertainment space.
Sclavos said he established his new company in partnership with Beverly Hills-based talent agency Endeavor and Culver City-based talent agency Daylight Holdings Inc. He said both agencies have helped him recruit talent, seek sponsorships and hold live events. Sclavos said his company has signed a three-year contract with 17 influencers and streamers.
Players Ntwrk debuted its first stream on Twitch, a gameplay featuring New Orleans Pelicans guard/forward Josh Hart and Sacramento Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox.
The company promoted its Twitch stream on Instagram, Twitter and other social media platforms. It also created a channel on YouTube, but no content has been uploaded yet.
Sclavos said the company plans to do 12 to 15 hours of livestreaming on Twitch per week by the end of the second quarter. Twitch users can view the livestream for free. There will be a subscription option soon, which will give users the opportunity to participate in the content, such as playing games with celebrities, according to Sclavos.
Sclavos said he anticipates revenues from sponsorships, media rights fees, as well as sales of limited-edition merchandise, such as hats and T-shirts, designed and produced jointly by the company and its streamers, including music artists and lifestyle influencers.
“The number of viewers and subscribers consuming gaming entertainment across YouTube and Twitch tops other entertainment services such as Netflix, HBO, Spotify and ESPN combined,” Sclavos said in a statement. “Entertainment spectacle is trumping hardcore gaming competition. That kind of engagement makes it clear; gaming entertainment is the next pop culture phenomena.”
Sclavos said he is looking for seed funding. He said he expects to close the round in two to three months.
General assignment reporter Coco Huang can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @HuangKeyu.
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