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Activision Blizzard hires former Fox Sports exec as CEO of Major League Gaming

Call of Duty European Championships Final At The Royal Opera House Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images

Activision Blizzard continues to tap talent from traditional sport networks to bolster its e-sports division. The company announced this morning that it hired former Fox Sports executive Pete Vlastelica to be president and CEO of Major League Gaming — the pioneering e-sports company bought by Activision earlier this year. Vlastelica will join former ESPN CEO Steve Bornstein, now chairman of Activision's wider pro gaming division, to continue to create what the company calls "the ESPN of e-sports."

Vlastelica’s main focus looks like it will be developing MLG's streaming content. In a press release, Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, praised Vlastelica's ability to create "new digital channels of distribution," while Vlastelica himself said: "I’m joining MLG because of the rare combination of massive digital scale and deep audience engagement around competitive gaming, and because there’s no better category of live streaming video content out there."

MLG already live streams matches on its own site and Twitch, but earlier this year announced plans to bring games to Facebook too. Speaking to The Guardian back in May, MLG co-founder Mike Sepso said: "Based on our tests so far and our existing partnership for Facebook, it's where we see our greatest capability to introduce a new audience to e-sports." The company predicts that this year some 256 million people will watch competitive gaming events around the world, but it still needs that figure to continue growing.