Cinedigm (NASDAQ: CIDM) announced the launch of the free 24/7 digital-first gaming and esports-centered WHAM Network (WHAM), coming to XUMO, Twitch, and web and mobile devices beginning today, Monday, April 9. The launch is part of Cinedigm’s continued commitment to reshaping the traditional television experience by offering viewers a lineup highlighting both “lean-back” programming as well as curated on-demand content.
Founded by Gary Kleinman in 2016, the WHAM Network is a partner of leading independent content distributor Cinedigm, with both companies jointly operating the channel. Made by gamers for gamers, WHAM is devoted to providing innovative and immersive programming covering the latest in industry news and the celebrity gaming scene, and providing original series, intense esports tournaments, and in-depth coverage of live events.
WHAM’s 24/7 channel puts the spotlight on a wide range of gamer and esports-driven programming that includes original content such as UMG Gaming, showcasing thousands of hours of game tournaments and highlights; Clip Blip, an outrageous compilation series of epic tales and tragic fails from across the ‘Streamosphere;’ and esports Central Live, broadcasting esports news, industry developments, new releases, and tournament results live from WHAM’s studio in Las Vegas. Also, WHAM’s schedule will feature Retro Gaming From The Strong Museum, highlighting classic video games, commercials, and gameplay, and bringing the stories of some of the most legendary gaming franchises to life through exclusive interviews with the developers who created them; and Game Bytes, an engaging and entertaining look at the ever-popular bar/restaurant gaming scene.
With the launch, WHAM will now be made available via web and mobile browsers. WHAM’s impact will be further expanded through Cinedigm’s partnership with the rapidly growing over-the-top (OTT) XUMO platform, which is natively accessible in more than 45% of the smart TVs in North America and will deliver WHAM’s exclusive content to over 20 million homes across the country. XUMO users will be able to enjoy the WHAM Network at xumo.tv and will have further access across XUMO’s footprint on iOS and Android mobile devices, as well as on LG, VIZIO, Hisense and Sharp smart TVs in May. Additionally, viewers will be able to access it as a digital-first offering on the world’s leading social video service and video game culture community, Twitch.
“Gaming lifestyle and esports content will be a multi-billion dollar industry within the next two years,” said Erick Opeka, EVP of Cinedigm Networks. “We’re excited to tap into this flourishing market with the launch of the WHAM Network, providing its passionate fan base with carefully curated free programming designed specifically for them.”
“The WHAM Network is proudly made by gamers for gamers,” said Gary Kleinman, WHAM founder. “With this extensive launch, our exclusive content will be able to reach even more gaming enthusiasts than ever before. We look forward to becoming a permanent part of this diverse and knowledgeable community, as we strive to provide them with unique and in-depth programming that they cannot find anywhere else.”
“WHAM is a significant addition to the XUMO channel lineup as we continue to broaden and deepen our offering of gaming content,” said Stefan Van Engen, SVP of content programming and acquisitions at XUMO. “The combination of a lean-back, 24/7 live and a curated, lean-in video-on-demand experience showcases the best of the XUMO platform, and provides fans with a perfect home for everything they love about esports.”