Overwatch League comes to ESPN, Disney and ABC

Esequiel Farfan
Julio 12, 2018

Previously, fans had to tune into Twitch, MLG.com, or the Overwatch League (OWL) website to catch this esports action but now it'll be easily accessible via ABC, Disney, and ESPN. "We've seen incredible passion and support from fans during the inaugural season of the Overwatch League, and we're looking forward to capping it off for them with an epic Grand Finals at Barclays Center later this month".

Live matches and replays will be presented through the networks, as well as the potential for highlight packages and content geared towards the more casual Overwatch player or esports viewer.

The multi-year broadcast deal includes the Overwatch League playoffs -which begin Wednesday night - the Season 1 grand finals from the Barclays Center in NY next month and Overwatch League Season 2 next year. The concluding night of the finals will be shown live on ESPN3 and Disney XD the following evening, with a rebroadcast airing on ESPN2 on Saturday, July 28 at 9 p.m. EDT. When it comes to marketing anything: the more platforms the better. ESPN also holds the broadcast rights to popular esports properties such as the North American division of the League of Legends Championship series. Considering that ESPN is the biggest sports broadcast network it makes sense to get in on the ground floor: while OWL is still in its infancy.

"We are turning the corner here in terms of our interest and engagement in the esports category", ESPN vice president of digital media programming John Lasker said in a statement. ESPN revealed that Lasker plans to take full advantage of a "full swath of digital rights" that may lead to supplemental coverage and programming aimed at non-gamers or people unfamiliar with Overwatch.

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"We're excited to be working with ESPN and DisneyXD to bring Overwatch esports to an even wider audience", Pete Vlastelica, president and chief executive of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues, said in the release.

"There's no doubt that this partnership will increase the reach of our league content", Vlastelica said. ESPN is invested in the growth of the National Basketball Association and now we hope they are invested in the growth of our league.

Overwatch League debuted in January with 12 teams representing cities such as Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Shanghai and Seoul.

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