Telefónica looks to e-gaming to fill debt hole

Telefónica has announced a strategic partnership with ESL to build its presence in the e-Sports arena in another move to diversify its business and address its debt issues.

Movistar, Telefónica’s commercial brand in Spain, will create a dedicated platform with exclusive content for Movistar+, as well as additional social networks built around various games and upcoming competitions.

“This will create an electronic gaming ecosystem in the country which, in addition to the very best telecommunications networks, will position Telefónica and its Movistar brand at the epicentre of this mass phenomenon that young people are joining with unbridled enthusiasm,” said Luis Miguel Gilpérez, President of Telefónica España. “We want to do our part for eSports, which we believe is the “sport of the 21st century.”

“Movistar will provide eSports with the very best fibre connectivity, a key aspect for an optimal gaming experience. From now on, the agreement with ESL will enable us to follow new eSport talents, who we hope to help achieve their dreams, just as we have done up to now with our commitment to other sports.”

The diversification of telco business models has been an issue for almost every telco for some time, though many have been turning to enterprise services as a means to combat the OTT-revenue drain. Movistar will now take a multi-channel approach, creating a Movistar eSports channel for its IPTV and DTS platforms, Movistar Stadium will broadcast a weekly magazine and it will also create a digital ecosystem where fans can check the latest updates and programme scheduling.

E-gaming certainly is a fast growing past-time around the world, though turning to Mario and Luigi to counter the reported €53 billion debt Telefónica is harbouring might have a few strategic limitations.

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