Facebook Gets 'Heroes Of The Dorm' eSports Exclusive Broadcast

FACEBOOK AND BLIZZARD'S EXCLUSIVE BROADCAST PARTNERSHIP

Facebook and Blizzard 'Heroes of the Dorm' Partnership (Photo: Blizzard)

TNL Take: Just 3 years ago if you wanted to watch any eSports content, you basically went to Twitch.

2016 saw the beginning of eSports Media evolution and fragmentation of the market:

2016: eSports Media Evolution (Infographic: The Next Level)

Back in June 2016 in The Next Level 010, I analyzed "The War On Twitch" and felt that Facebook was the biggest threat to Twitch once the Blizzard partnership and 1-Click Overwatch streaming was announced.

Now Facebook is taking the relationship even further.

Last week, Facebook and Blizzard announced an Exclusive Broadcast deal for "Heroes of the Dorm" on Facebook Live where it had previously been shown on ESPN for the past 2 years.

Outside of no TV coverage in 2017, the only major difference is the addition of a Heroes of the Dorm Bracket Challenge and the Heroes of the Dorm Pick ‘em Challenge in which choosing correctly will give the grand prize winner $10,000.

Halfway through the tournament, viewers get to play the Pick ‘em Challenge, where they pick one school to win the Championship and get in-game items (Stimpacks) as rewards for participating.

While there was the usual clickbait headlines of "Heroes of the Dorm Drops ESPN" or "Facebook Snags Heroes of the Dorm Away From ESPN" - I don't believe that's the real story.

A few points on that:

2016 eSports TV Ratings (Infographic: The Next Level)

ESPN made a big commitment to eSports in 2016, broadcasting 18 hours of content on one day.

Without EA Madden NFL (on NFL Network) or Heroes of the Dorm, it'll be interesting to see where ESPN plants their eSports stake in 2017.

 

Just make EVO 2017 a lot bigger.