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ESPN President on Twitch/Amazon Deal: Whatever, eSports Aren’t Real Sports Anyway

Obviously, he is not a golfer.


ESPN President John Skipper didn’t hold back when asked how he felt about Amazon’s nearly $1 billion dollar purchase of online video game streaming platform Twitch. He’s got some feelings about the legitimacy of eSports and online streaming.

Re/code says the question was put to Skipper at the Code/Media Series: New York conference, and his response basically amounted to, “Whatever. We didn’t want it anyway.” He put it a bit less bluntly than that though, saying, “It’s not a sport—it’s a competition. Chess is a competition. Checkers is a competition. Mostly, I’m interested in doing real sports.”

Real sports? eSports are not real sports? (Also, did he just try to categorize chess and checkers together?)


That’s OK. He can keep his real sports. Amazon and Twitch are probably pretty happy with Twitch’s 45,000,000 monthly visitors in 2013, which has only been increasing with new consoles’ abilities to stream directly to the service. Meanwhile, ESPN hasn’t been doing so hot, despite how Skipper also thinks TV is still the only place to watch those “real” sports and online streaming is merely a way to get young people in the door for that sweet, overpriced cable goodness.

Meanwhile, Twitch and Amazon are like, “I’m sorry. I can’t hear you over the sound of counting all our online streaming money.”


(via Kotaku, image via Vjeran Pavic – Re/code)

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Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct Geekosystem (RIP), and then at The Mary Sue starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at Smash Bros.