13 Feb 2009
Spike Signs New Multi-Year Production and Talent Deal with Geoff Keighley
SPIKE TV SIGNS NEW MULTI-YEAR PRODUCTION AND TALENT DEAL WITH GEOFF KEIGHLEY
Keighley To Develop, Executive Produce And Host Video Game Specials For The Network
First Special “Gillette®-EA SPORTS™ Champions Of Gaming” Featuring Derek Jeter And Reggie Bush
To Premiere On February 18
NEW YORK, February 12, 2009 – Coming off a record year in the video game category, MTVN Entertainment Group’s Spike TV, a division of Viacom (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B), today announced that it signed an expansive, multi-year talent and production deal with video game journalist Geoff Keighley. The deal includes Keighley developing, executive producing and hosting a slate of original video game special for the network. The first special, “Gillette-EA SPORTS Champions Of Gaming Final” featuring Derek Jeter and Reggie Bush will premiere on Wednesday, February 18 at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT.
The multi-faceted deal encompasses on-camera hosting, producing and Keighley’s role as Spike’s executive in charge of publisher relations. As part of the deal, Keighley will continue to host and executive produce “GameTrailers TV with Geoff Keighley,” which grew its average audience 33% in 2008, moderate the roundtable talkshow “The Bonus Round” on GameTrailers.com, and act as a producer on the annual Spike “Video Game Awards.”
“Geoff is the best host in the game industry and a big reason why Spike is the number one network for video game programming,” said Kevin Kay, president, Spike TV. “We are excited to enter into a new, long-term agreement with him and support the game category with even more coverage in the years to come.”
Spike TV’s first video game special shows the world what happens when video game jocks meet their real life contemporaries. Hosted by Keighley, “Gillette-EA SPORTS Champions of Gaming Finals” is the culmination of an online tournament between 350,000 gamers all over the world playing on Xbox LIVE for the right to match-up with their sports heroes. After months of battling it out online, one gamer for each of five EA SPORTS games is flown to the University of Central Florida in Orlando and given the chance to become a champion by beating a champion. Athletes scheduled to appear include New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, NASCAR superstar Denny Hamlin, Orlando Magic All-Star Jameer Nelson, and Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush.
“The ‘Gillette-EA SPORTS Champions Of Gaming Finals’ is another example of why Spike is the go-to network for video game programming,” said Keighley. “This year we are looking forward to supplementing GameTrailers TV with video game specials and live coverage that celebrates the biggest gaming events of the year.”
Spike TV is available in 97.7 million homes and is a division of MTV Networks. A unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), MTV Networks is one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. Spike TV’s Internet address is www.spike.com and for up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs, visit Spike TV’s press site at http://www.spike.com/press.
Newsweek dubs him Mike Wallace meets Kurt Loder for the video game generation. The Wall Street Journal calls him an example of gaming journalism growing up. Since the age of 14, Geoff Keighley has spent more than half his life covering the video game industry across print, online and television. Today he is widely regarded as the preeminent journalist in his field and as the top talent for videogame programming on television, both in front and behind the camera. In 2004 NewsBios.com named him one of the top 30 journalists under 30.
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