"The creation of a competition entirely for TV presupposes that enough people want to watch other people play video games for money that broadcasting it is a profitable business plan. To put things in perspective, a cable television show (which also requires a subscription, like satellite TV) in North America needs to be pulling ~500,000 viewers per episode to be a viable series.
The world viewing record for Half-Life TV is 39,500 simultaneous users, at the Cyberathlete Professional League finals in 2004. As far as gaming goes, that's a magnificent number, but a far cry from the audience needed to sustain an "in your living room" broadcast. One other thing to consider in the bigger picture is that TV broadcasts of gaming events rarely, if ever, include the game from beginning to end. What does this mean?
It means that you can't really compare a broadcast of a video game competition to a broadcast of American football or baseball, because competitive gaming broadcasts are often spliced into a highlight reel format."