First in Esports: Overwatch League secures broadcast deals with ESPN and Disney

Overwatch League - InsideSport

Overwatch League, a professional eSports league of one of the most popular titles across the globe, has signed a multi-year broadcast deal with ESPN and Disney

Overwatch League, set to air exclusively on ESPN, Disney and ABC networks in the US, will become the first esports competition to air ona US sports channel in primetime.

The agreement between the owner of the league Blizzard Entertainment, ESPN and Disney includes the Overwatch League play-offs, which got underway on Wednesday, the season one grand finals and the second season of the competition.

Matches will air on ESPN, ESPN 2, Disney XD, ABC and all related streaming services for the duration of the deal. Fans will also be able to continue to watch the Overwatch League on video game live streaming platform Twitch, which secured a two-year, $90 million agreement in January.

Pete Vlastelica, president and chief executive of Activision Blizzard esports leagues, said, “Media partners are another very important partner in [the Overwatch League] ecosystem. ESPN is invested in the growth of the NBA and now we hope they are invested in the growth of our league. That’s what makes it a significant moment.”

ESPN vice president of digital media programming John Lasker, said, “We are turning the corner here in terms of our interest and engagement in the esports category. We’ve had an interest and have been watching pretty closely how the first year of the Overwatch League has been progressing, and we’re really excited to be a part of this.”

“Clearly by the way we’re going to be covering it starting with the play-offs and the finals this year certainly speaks volumes to our excitement and our enthusiasm overall for esports moving forward.”