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Overwatch League strikes a milestone deal with Disney and ESPN

Posted by | abc, Activision Blizzard, disney xd, Entertainment, espn, esports, Gaming, Sports, TC | No Comments

If you’re sick of hearing about esports, you need to get over it. The space continues to grow, inching its way into the traditional media landscape. Today, in fact, Activision Blizzard announced that the Overwatch League playoffs will be aired on ESPN and Disney XD.

The Overwatch League in itself is a huge step for esports, as it’s the first true city-based league for a competitive video game. While most esports leagues consist of privately owned teams with little or nothing to do with geography, Overwatch League is a pro league made up of city-based teams such as the Dallas Fuel or the San Francisco Shock. Many of these teams are owned by big names in the traditional sports world, such as Robert Kraft (CEO and owner of New England Patriots, who owns the Boston Uprising) and Jeff Wilpon (COO of the New York Mets, who owns the New York Excelsior).

The agreement, which also includes a recap/highlights package from 2018 Grand Finals coverage on ABC on July 29, marks the first time that live competitive gaming has aired on ESPN in prime time, and will be the first broadcast of an esports championship on ABC. Activision Blizzard said in the announcement that this is just the start of a multi-year agreement.

That said, EA’s Madden NFL 18 did broadcast an esports tournament on ESPN2 and Disney XD earlier this year.

Overwatch League playoffs begin tonight at 8pm ET, and will culminate in the Grand Finals, taking place in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, on July 27 and July 28.

Here’s what Justin Connolly, EVP of Affiliate Sales and Marketing at Disney and ESPN, had to say in a prepared statement:

The Overwatch League Grand Finals is by far our most comprehensive television distribution for an esports event over a single weekend: 10 total hours over four networks and three days. 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.

The rise of Twitch stars, like Ninja, and the growth of the competitive gaming scene have paved the way not only for a new type of sports media, but for a growing new economy. While challenges remain around monetizing the content, the pieces of the puzzle are slowing coming together to create an audience large enough to incentivize advertisers to spend big money.

In fact, sponsorship revenue and ad spending revenue are expected to hit $655 million and $224 million, respectively, by 2020, according to Newzoo. That doesn’t sound like much when you think about the NFL, which raked in $1.3 billion in revenue in 2017 alone. But, like this deal proves, the esports space is growing and working its way into the mainstream, hoping to get the attention of young men between 18 and 34 who have become increasingly difficult to reach via traditional advertising.

Alongside the live TV broadcast of the Overwatch League playoffs on ESPN and Disney XD, the playoffs will also be live-streamed via Twitch, MLG.com and on the ESPN app and DisneyNOW.

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Madden NFL 18 esports are coming to Disney XD and ESPN

Posted by | Disney, disney xd, Electronic Arts, espn, esports, Football, Gaming, madden nfl, madden nfl 18, Media, TC | No Comments

 With the Super Bowl just a few weeks away, the world of football has some relatively unexpected news. Madden NFL, one of the most popular gaming titles in the world, is going even more mainstream. ESPN2 and Disney XD will broadcast Madden e-sports tournaments thanks to a new deal inked by EA, Disney, and the NFL. Madden NFL 18 is one of the top ten best-selling games in the last 12 months, and… Read More

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ESPN launches a short-form version of SportsCenter on Snapchat

Posted by | Disney, espn, Media, Mobile, Snap, Snapchat, Sports | No Comments

 ESPN today announced it’s launching a short-form version of its SportsCenter show on Snapchat, which will kick off today at 5 PM ET. The show will then begin to release new episodes on a twice-daily basis, at 5 AM and 5 PM on weekdays and once, at 5 AM, on weekends. The launch will make SportsCenter the first-ever daily sports show on Snapchat’s platform. The move comes at a time… Read More

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You could become a pilot in the Drone Racing League if you’re good at this racing simulator

Posted by | drone racing, Drone Racing League, espn, fpv drone, fpv flying, Gaming, simulators, TC, video games | No Comments

img_0649 Today the Drone Racing League, a league that has a deal with ESPN to broadcast races this season, launched a drone racing simulator game.
And perhaps even more interesting, the league will be teaming up with Bud Light to host Drone Racing League tryouts on the simulator, with the winner receiving a $75,000 contract to compete in the 2017 season.
The simulator itself is pretty basic –… Read More

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How To Stream Super Bowl 50 This Sunday

Posted by | CBS, CBSSports, Entertainment, espn, Media, Mobile, Sports, streaming, super bowl, TC | No Comments

football laptop So you decided to finally ditch your cable package this year. Great! But now the Super Bowl is rolling around and you’re wondering how you’re going to watch Cam Newton dab all afternoon? Luckily, we’ve put together a guide of all the ways you can stream the big game. CBS, the network that is broadcasting Super Bowl 50 this year, is streaming the game for free across a bevy… Read More

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