ESPN just signed a deal for the TV rights to the Overwatch eSports league

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Inside the competitive world of esports

Disney simply positioned an enormous wager on eSports.

ESPN signed a take care of Bobby Kotick’s Activision Blizzard (ATVI) for TV rights to the Overwatch eSports league — a landmark second within the rise of aggressive video gaming, which affords large prizes and attracts giant crowds.

The multi-year deal brings the Overwatch League playoffs and finals to ABC, ESPN, ESPN 2 and Disney XD. It would mark the primary time eSports have aired on ABC and the primary time ESPN has carried the occasion in primetime.

Associated: Why ESPN goes large on basketball

Aggressive gaming attracts enormous audiences keen to look at folks play video video games. Greater than 360 million folks watched a livestream of a 2017 “League of Legends” eSports competitors. That form of reputation has drawn curiosity from the Worldwide Olympic Committee, which is contemplating making eSports an Olympic sport.

Whereas comparisons between digital and tv broadcasts are sometimes apples to oranges, eSports audiences have eclipsed the 111.three million individuals who watched the 2017 Tremendous Bowl and the 30 million who tuned in for final 12 months’s NBA Finals.

This 12 months’s Overwatch quarterfinals began on July 11. The competitors concludes with the Grand Finals, which happen on July 27 and 28 at Barclays Heart in New York and can air on ESPN and Disney XD. The Overwatch League is a world endeavor, with groups from all through Asia, Europe, and North America.

“The Overwatch League Grand Finals is by far our most complete tv distribution for an eSports occasion over a single weekend,” Disney (DIS) and ESPN Government Vice President Justin Connolly stated in a press release.

CNNMoney (New York) First printed July 11, 2018: 6:34 PM ET

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