Cinedigm and WHAM to create 24/7 streaming esports and gaming channel

Cinedigm and The WHAM Network Inc have announced a new partnership to launch The WHAM Network, a 24/7 streaming channel centered around esports and gaming. 

Cinedigm is a North American company headquartered in Los Angeles, California. It’s an a leading content distributor in the US with direct relationships with thousands of retail stores and digital platforms, including Wal-Mart, iTunes, Amazon and Netflix. It also operates three over-the-top digital networks, including Docurama, CONtv and THE Dove Channel. 

WHAM, on the other hand, was founded in 2016 by Gary Kleinman. It has been revealed in the press release that WHAM has over twenty original series slated for production, with a target of at least 160 hours of original programming in 2017. The topics and themes of the shows are thought to range from news, celebrity gaming, documentaries, reality shows, gaming competitions and live event coverage. It aims to “inform, engage and entertain” a broad spectrum ranging from “professional esports teams to casual gamers”. 

The WHAM Network will become the fourth of Cinedigm’s OTT Digital Networks. The three aforementioned channels have approximately 3.34 million App downloads, 610,000 registered users and 80,000 active subscribers. They will be hoping to leverage and build upon those figures with the latest network channel. 

Gary Kleinman, WHAM Founder and CEO commented: “WHAM is extremely excited to launch this Gaming lifestyle and culture channel.” He added: “We couldn’t be happier than to work with the exceptional team at Cinedigm, an organisation that haWs tremendous experience in all avenues of content distribution on a global basis.”

Chris McGurk, Cinedigm’s Chairman and CEO revealed:“We are thrilled to be working with Gary and the rest of the top-notch team at WHAM to bring this very timely streaming channel to audiences worldwide. Given the huge global market and fast growing consumer obsession with esports and gaming, we fully expect this channel to resonate with audiences and provide a tremendous growth opportunity.”

The channel looks set to launch in the third quarter of 2017.

On first glance we’re not sure what to think of this. Whilst the stature of Cinedigm as a company is unquestionable the language surrounding their release makes us wonder whether they really understand what they’re getting into.

Esports Insider says: Labelling esports “A fast growing consumer obsession” probably isn’t the best way to introduce oneself to a traditionally tricky audience to crack. Content that appeals to professional esports teams all the way to casual gamers? That’s another amazingly broad spectrum. We’ll hold our judgement until we see how the channel manifests itself and starts to push content.