Posted 19th July 2018 By: Derpina
Esports News – As competitive gaming and international esports rise in popularity, the demand for streaming services also increase in number. When these games go live, millions of fans around the globe tune in to YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook so they can witness the biggest battles for prize pool and eternal glory. With this circulation, the esports industry now earned almost seven hundred million dollars in revenue due to a combined estimate of three hundred and eighty-five million viewers throughout the year 2017.
To double the numbers of viewers from 2017 and to further promote esports in international markets, Blizzard Entertainment decided to bring the Overwatch League (OWL) tournaments to ESPN, Disney, and ABC family networks. Adding more Overwatch League streaming options mean more viewing opportunities for Overwatch fans around the globe.
The deals with all the giant networks mentioned will be a multi-year broadcast agreement that includes the OWL’s Season 1 playoffs and grand finals, as well as OWL’s Season 2 coming next year. All in all, professional Overwatch tournaments will be broadcast in the same manner on the actual ESPN network, ESPN2, Disney XD, and ABC. The deal, however, does not cancel existing agreements with other streaming services like Twitch.
While the professional tournaments will only contain live, full replays, and recaps of the matches, organizers plan to include highlight episodes and other supplemental content for viewers who are not yet familiar with Overwatch. This might air on all ESPN digital platforms.
The agreement between Blizzard and the streaming networks is a strategy to bring Overwatch and esports to a wider audience, targeting a demographic that might be interested in witnessing international matches that showcases more competitive gameplay. Supporting the agenda is Pete Vlastelica, the president and CEO of Activision Blizzard esports leagues: “It’s a cross-section that’s a hardcore sports fan, especially on ESPN channels. They love watching competitions, they love watching the best in the world compete at a great game. Maybe they have played video games. Maybe they know of Overwatch. Maybe they even play Overwatch or play it a lot. But they’re fundamentally looking to be entertained by the highest possible level of competition around a great game. And that’s what we’ve got.”
|Fri, July 20||7 PM||Day 2 of Semifinals||ESPNEWS|
|Sat, July 21||7 PM||Day 3 of Semifinals||ESPN2|
|Fri,July 27||7 PM||Day 1 of Finals||ESPN|
|Sat, July 28||4:30 PM||Day 2 of Finals||Disney XD, ESPN3|
|Sat, July 28||9 PM||Day 2 of Finals||ESPN2 (re-air)|
|Sun, July 29||3 PM||Highlights Recap||ABC, ESPN3|
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