Spike TV and Game Trailers, a website specializing in video game content, will partner again for all-access live coverage of this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), which hits the Los Angeles Convention Center in early June.
Last year, Spike aired five hours of live coverage, but it was the 20 hours of coverage online that set a Viacom record for most streamed event in the company’s history.
For this year’s event, Spike will air 11 hours of live coverage on Spike TV, as well as even more coverage online and on other Viacom-owned channels like MTV 2, MTVU and MTV Tres.
“We realized we have a really good formula here,” John Slusser, Spike’s SVP for sports and multi-platform programming and events, told TheWrap. “We’ve created a show built for all these different platforms at the same time and we bring in a whole social media hub on stage where we interact with fans in real time."
That social media element includes real-time polling, responding to viewers who are commenting on Twitter and Facebook and integrating all of the social media chatter into the show.
While last year’s broadcasts drew a combine 10 million viewers, Spike is aiming even higher this year. E3 is the biggest trade fair for the video game industry, and is of importance to the film and television industry as well given the overlap between video games and filmed content.
“We’ve covered E3 for a number of years in varying ways and last year was the first time we covered it live on air,” Jon Slusser, Spike’s SVP for multi-platform programming and events, told TheWrap. “It was not only a success on-air — the most-watched thing on TV for young guys, including broadcast — but a big success online. It proved one doesn’t cannibalize the other.”
Live coverage will begin with a digital pre-show on June 4. Though the festival does not officially begin until the next day, Spike TV will air its most extensive coverage on the press day preceding it. That includes six and a half hours of broadcast coverage and more than 10 hours of online coverage. Coverage continues the next day with six hours of coverage, four hours of which will air on TV.
Legendary video game designer Sir Peter Molyneux will join Spike’s team of “GTTV” hosts Geoff Keighley, Amanda Mackay and others in hosting the show.
To further promote its coverage, Viacom will use the billboard it owns in New York’s Times Square to stream the show.
Slusser said the network would be announcing a number of partnerships in the coming weeks, as well as celebrity involvement and some news that will air exclusively on Spike.