SEARCH  NEWS  SOCIAL  SHOP   SERVICES
Message

Esports on ESPN: Overwatch championship to air in prime time

**Source: washingtontimes.com

Jul 11, 2018 11:10 AM - 6 days, 15 hours, 31 minutes, 31 seconds ago

Description:

Esports on ESPN: Overwatch championship to air in prime time

Search

Question of the Day

Esports are coming to ESPN.

The network will air the inaugural Overwatch League Grand Finals in prime time this month as part of a multiyear agreement to bring esports to the biggest sports platform on American television.

Disney and Blizzard Entertainment announced plans Wednesday to broadcast the OWL’s playoffs and championship on ESPN, ABC and Disney XD. The Grand Finals on July 27 will be shown live on ESPN, marking the first time the network will carry esports in prime time.

“We think that really reflects the commitment they’re making to the category,” said Pete Vlastelica, President and CEO of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues.

Coverage begins Wednesday with the playoffs on Disney XD and ESPN3. There will be 10 hours total of Grand Finals coverage, including a recap show July 29 on ABC. Disney’s networks will also broadcast OWL matches next season. Financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed.

Overwatch is a team-based first-person shooter, with two teams of six players competing over various objectives. The OWL has city-based teams in four countries, including nine US franchises plus teams in London, Seoul and Shanghai. The league plans to expand after its first season.

“There’s no doubt that this partnership will increase the reach of our league content,” Vlastelica said. “And open up, have access to a new audience that maybe doesn’t spend so much time streaming content online, but who has heard of esports and is familiar with gaming and who’s a big sports fan.”

The playoffs will take place at Blizzard’s esports arena in Burbank, California, and the Grand Finals will be held at the Barclays Center in New York.

The OWL had been streaming all matches on Twitch, a livestream platform owned by Amazon, and it will continue to provide simulcasts there through at least 2019. The league signed a two-year agreement with Twitch prior to this season and drew 10 million viewers to the platform on its opening weekend, besting Amazon’s NFL “Thursday Night Football” numbers from the 2017 season.

This won’t be ESPN’s first foray into events that aren’t strictly sports. Its programming has included the Scripps National Spelling Bee, the World Series of Poker and the Drum Corps International championship. ESPN also aired part of the FIFA Ultimate Team Championship Series in 2017, and it previously partnered with Blizzard Entertainment on “Heroes of the Dorm,” an esports tournament for college gamers.

Esports have made headway into the mainstream over the past year, with the International Olympic Committee stating its interest in adding video games last fall. The IOC is set to host an esports forum this month to explore adding video games to the Olympics.

___

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times ...

Read the Article, CLICK HERE.

All Extracted Terms (Click to add to search.) Esports on ESPN: Overwatch championship to air in prime time    Grand Finals coverage    International Olympic Committee    Grand Finals    Disney XD    video games    league plans    league content    Washington Times    sports fan    esports forum    esports arena    World Series    college gamers    New York    opening weekend     Click    Financial terms    American television    Pete Vlastelica    plans Wednesday    Day Esports    

Discovered Stories

See More

**The statements and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or it's affiliates. The opinions expressed here should not be understood as advocated by or sanctioned by this website or it's affiliates. Information contained on this site is provided on an “as is” basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness and should not be relied upon. You use this website, information, and content at your own risk. This includes information and content linked to and from this website. Content displayed may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to report the news, advance understanding of the issues, and discover content. We believe this constitutes fair use of any such copyrighted material. Content is removed on a case by case basis. To request that content be removed, contact us using the following form: Contact Us. 4Internet LLC, its members, owners, employees, contractors, customers, users, agents, affiliates, and/or assigns, will not be liabile for any damages.