World Esports Association Commissioner Ken Hershman Joins RankingBall as an Advisor
It’s no lie that TV viewership has gone down the last couple of years. With the term “cord-cutting” becoming more commonplace due to the rise of on-demand streaming, people are moving towards watching what they want when they want. However, sporting events are still the one spectacle on TV that viewers tune into to watch live.
Although live sporting events attract more audiences to the TV, dedicated sport networks like ESPN have felt the pressure to launch their own dedicated streaming service.
“The reason why audiences are switching to streaming services, especially Millennials, is because they want to feel in control of what they watch and for how long,” says Ken Hershman. “Twitch and FaceBook Live are examples of how younger audiences are changing the way we interact with what we watch. Audiences now have direct access to the streaming hosts. They feel directly involved with content they are watching.”
Signed on as an advisor to RankingBall, Ken Hershman was the President of HBO Sports for four years where he oversaw several award-winning show. He is currently the Executive Chairman and Commissioner of the World Esports Association (WESA), a group dedicated representing the players and to set rules and regulations for esports organizations.
“Esports have gained enormous popularity throughout the world and will eventually surpass traditional sports viewership,” Hershman said. “Even with all the success and viewership, esports leagues like the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) or ESL Pro League aren’t household names like the NFL or NBA. One of the problems esports faces right now is creating a business model that successfully monetizes on its high ratings.”
Screenshot of League of Legends on RankingBall
In 2015, Darren Kim (CEO of RankingBall), who had worked with South Korea’s biggest sports television networks, approached Ken Hershman with a solution that would be mutually beneficial for esports leagues, media, streamers and fans. RankingBall’s team had worked for four years to develop a platform that would directly involve the fans with the matches they watch. And it’s done by taking real-time data feeds from real esport matches and reflects it into a scoring system which they call spectator gaming. Users on RankingBall’s platform can utilize the blockchain to compete in contests and win prizes.
“What drew me to RankingBall is their experience with incorporating live sporting matches with direct fan interaction. It has always been challenging for sports networks to directly engage with the viewers. RankingBall offers a very intriguing way to narrow the gap between the league, broadcasters, and the television audience,” said Hershman. “In the era of streaming, having a unique layer of interactive gameplay on top of live match broadcasts fits perfectly with the rise of esports.”