Esports has been around for a few years, and it has proved itself to be one of the fastest rising industries today. With this, many networks and companies want to capitalize on this success and jump in the bandwagon.
Activision recently announced in a statement that Disney and ESPN have partnered with Blizzard Entertainment in a multiyear deal for the exclusive, live television coverage of Overwatch League — the biggest professional esports League for Overwatch across Asia, Europe, and North America.
The coverage already began yesterday with the Overwatch League playoffs, which will span until the grand finals on July 27-28. Lastly, highlights of the playoffs and grand finals will air on July 29 on ABC. This will be one of the first to many more in the future, according to the multiyear agreement.
According to Justin Connolly, the Executive Vice President of Disney and ESPN media networks, this project has been one of their most ambitious project for an esports event. “This overall collaboration with Disney/ABC, ESPN and Blizzard represents our continued commitment to esports, and we look forward to providing marquee Overwatch League coverage across our television platforms for fans.”
Also included in the deal is full access to all the games on all streaming services of ESPN and Disney, such as DisneyNOW and ESPN App.
Overwatch League’s Success
This is a monumental move for both parties as this will be the first time that a competitive esports game will air in primetime on ESPN. On the other hand, fans of Overwatch League will surely tune in to Disney and ESPN for their daily dose of Overwatch action.
Overwatch League is the first of its kind, as it features teams from different cities such as Boston Uprising, Dallas Fuel, and Houston Outlaw, instead of the traditional brand names along with the teams.
Last year, Esports had recently risen in terms of viewership. According to Statista, the global eSport audience size grew from 58 million last 2012 to over a 100 million this year. It was also stated that this number could increase to as much as 250 million in 2021.
(Image courtesy of Overwatch Facebook Page)