×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Fox Sports EVP Pete Vlastelica Named CEO of Activision Blizzard’s Major League Gaming eSports Division

Pete Vlastelica is exiting as Fox Sports’ executive VP of digital to become president and CEO of Major League Gaming, the eSports division of video-game giant Activision Blizzard.

Vlastelica, who officially starts at Activision Blizzard on Oct. 3, will be tasked with growing the company’s eSports broadcast, content and distribution business that revolves around video-game competitions as a spectator sport. He will be based at Activision Blizzard’s Santa Monica, Calif., headquarters and report to COO Thomas Tippl.

“Pete is an entrepreneurial leader with a history of creating inspired content and developing new digital channels of distribution,” Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said in a statement. “As we continue to build MLG into the premier eSports network, Pete will further our mission celebrating the accomplishments of gamers worldwide.”

In January, Activision Blizzard announced the acquisition of MLG. That came after the company last fall established its eSports group, hiring Steve Bornstein, former CEO of ESPN and NFL Network, as chairman and MLG co-founder Mike Sepso as senior VP. Bornstein and Sepso will continue in their roles, with Sepso reporting to Vlastelica, while MLG co-founder Sundance DiGiovanni remains VP of brands and content. MLG’s primary operations will continue to be based in New York City.

“To me Pete is the perfect guy to help us build out the eSports space,” Bornstein said. “What we’re going to try to do is try to make rational sense of the space, how to harness that, and grow it into a significant business.”

Vlastelica, in an interview, said he personally sees eSports as a huge opportunity. “You’re talking about the first digital-native sport,” he said. “It has the potential to be the biggest sport in the world.”

At Fox Sports, Vlastelica has led content, product strategy, mobile, and operations for the company’s portfolio of digital assets, including FoxSports.com, Fox Sports GO, Yardbarker, and WhatIfSports.com. His last day at Fox Sports is Sept. 23.

He joined Fox Sports in 2010 when it acquired Yardbarker, a network of more than 1,000 independent sports blogs that he co-founded in 2006. Prior to that, Vlastelica managed business development for the Walt Disney Internet Group in London and ran business development at Plumb Design, a boutique interactive marketing and design agency in New York City.

MLG was founded in 2002. MLG.tv is a free, ad-supported video-streaming platform for eSports that showcases the league’s own large-scale events. More than 180 pro eSports players, teams and leagues from around the globe have dedicated MLG.tv streaming channels, and the platform features up-and-comers competing on Gamebattles with more than 40 titles.

Activision Blizzard’s eSports portfolio includes regional and global events for Activision’s “Call of Duty” and Blizzard Entertainment’s “Heroes of the Storm,” “Hearthstone” and “StarCraft” titles. Key events include Activision’s “Call of Duty World League,” “Call of Duty XP” and Blizzard Entertainment’s annual BlizzCon. In April, MLG’s “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major Championship” generated record viewership numbers for an eSports event, garnering 71 million video views and a peak of 1.6 million concurrent viewers.

More Digital

  • Streaming Powers U.S. Latin Music Market

    Streaming Powers U.S. Latin Music Market to 18% Growth

    The U.S. Latin music business experienced its second year of double-digit growth in 2018, driven almost entirely by streaming, according to the RIAA’s year-end report. The Latin market grew 18% in 2018 to $413 million, driven by a nearly 50% growth in revenues from paid subscriptions, the report says. Streaming formats made up a whopping [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Entertainment One, Universal to Partner on Home Entertainment

    Entertainment One and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment have signed a multi-year, multi-territory distribution agreement. UPHE will serve as the home entertainment distributor of eOne’s offerings across both physical and digital formats. The pact covers film, television, and select family content and includes all sales, marketing, and distribution, spanning the U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, Spain, Australia, [...]

  • 'Darkwood' Delivers Surreal Horror to Nintendo

    'Darkwood' Delivers Surreal Horror to Nintendo Switch

    “Darkwood” is the sort of game you might not expect to find on the Nintendo Switch: It’s dark, violent, and immensely unsettling. But the top-down survival horror title is also an excellent fit for the platform, the sort of evocative experience that a player can methodically pick at in short stints, or sink into for [...]

  • MLB All-Star Game

    T-Mobile’s MLB.tv Subscription Giveaway Available Now

    T-Mobile is once again giving its customers free access to MLB.tv, Major League Baseball’s streaming service. The telco began giving away access to the streaming service Tuesday; anyone interested in signing up has until April 1 to do so. MLB.tv allows subscribers to stream regular season games on mobile and TV connected devices, and is [...]

  • The Federal Trade Commission building in

    FTC to Examine Privacy Practices of Major Internet Providers

    WASHINGTON — The Federal Trade Commission said it is launching an examination of the privacy practices of major internet providers including AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast to study how they use consumer information. Capitol Hill lawmakers have been giving added scrutiny to the tech industry’s use of consumer data for more than a year, but much [...]

  • Jessica Rodriguez Strictly Business Podcast

    Listen: Univision's Jessica Rodriguez on Shaking Up a Traditional TV Brand

    With new leadership in place at Univision, the network is evolving in ways its fast-growing Hispanic audience in the U.S. might find surprising. Look no further than the broadcaster’s primetime schedule, according to Jessica Rodriguez, CMO of Univision Communications and president/COO of Univision Networks, who relied on audience research to shake up traditional notions of [...]

  • Electronic Arts Logo

    EA Laying Off 350 People, About 4% of Staff

    Electronic Arts is laying off about 350 of its 9,000-person staff, CEO Andrew Wilson announced in a blog post on its website Tuesday. In the brief, open letter, Wilson noted that the move was made to “address our challenges and prepare for the opportunities ahead,” and to “better deliver on our commitments, refine our organization [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content