2017 eSports TV Ratings: Injustice 2 Remains Strong

2017 ESPORTS TV RATINGS: INJUSTICE 2 REMAINS STRONG

Injustice 2 on ELEAGUE (Photo: Turner)

Injustice 2 on ELEAGUE (Photo: Turner)

TNL Take: The past few weeks have seen a relative dearth in eSports TV programming unlike the summer onslaught that Disney XD unleashed.

Here's the latest look at the Top 25 to date.

2017 eSports TV Ratings (Infographic: The Next Level)

2017 eSports TV Ratings (Infographic: The Next Level)

TBS

Injustice 2 remained strong drawing in 209,000 total viewers with almost 2/3 of the audience falling in the key 18-49 demographic.

While the 2nd week did drop from last week's premiere, the decrease of ~10% isn't too bad considering it was going up against a weekend of League of Legends Championship and the start of Blizzcon.

It will be interesting to see if the ratings increase this Friday with relatively little competition vs. last weekend.

As I mentioned last week, the Fighting genre continues to dominate with half of the Top 25 falling within this category.

2017 eSports TV Ratings: Injustice 2 Premieres On TBS

2017 ESPORTS TV RATINGS: INJUSTICE 2 PREMIERES ON TBS

Injustice 2 On ELEAGUE (Photo: Turner)

Injustice 2 On ELEAGUE (Photo: Turner)

[Edit: Quick update today due to travel]

TNL Take: This week saw the debut of Injustice 2 with Turner's ELEAGUE.

2017 eSports TV Ratings (Infographic: The Next Level)

2017 eSports TV Ratings (Infographic: The Next Level)

TBS

The debut of ELEAGUE's Injustice 2 kicked off with a strong start garnering 231,000 viewers with half being in the key 18-49 demo.

The genre that's currently drawing the most viewers?

Fighting.

Taking a look at the Top 25 rated shows for 2017, 12 are in the fighting genre. We will dig into this a bit deeper but two key points standout:

  • Short Learning Curve: Unlike games like League of Legends or Counter-Strike which have plenty of strategy and a deep learning curve, fighting games are extremely simple: just beat your opponent. A casual viewer can understand the action almost instantly.
  • Passionate Community: The FGC (Fighting Game Community) is one of the most enthusiastic audiences within eSports. With little publisher support, almost all of the live events are grassroots driven. 

2017 eSports TV Ratings: Nintendo World Championship, The CW, ELEAGUE

2017 ESPORTS TV RATINGS: NINTENDO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, THE CW, ELEAGUE

2017 Nintendo World Championship on DisneyXD (Photo: Nintendo )

2017 Nintendo World Championship on DisneyXD (Photo: Nintendo )

TNL Take: This week continues the eSports on TV trend with several key stats:

  • DisneyXD broadcast the 2017 Nintendo World Championship for the first time and shows Nintendo's dedicated push into eSports in 2017 in addition to a great Sunday time slot of 5PM
  • Not including DisneyXD's 60+ eSports programs to date, the total on all other channels including ESPN, TBS and the NFL Network has now hit 50 - more than double that of 2016
  • The CW again benefitted by showcasing eSports during a key time slot - Tuesday Prime Time

[Due to the massive amount of programming, The Next Level will showcase the Top 25 in the weekly reports for easier viewing]

TNL Infographic 062: 2017 eSports TV Ratings (Infographic: The Next Level)

TNL Infographic 062: 2017 eSports TV Ratings (Infographic: The Next Level)

THE CW

Out of all the eSports programming over the past year, The CW has continually given the best programming time slots: Weekday Prime Time. Not including Candy Crush - please don't @ me - The CW again takes the #1 slot with their Chasing the Cup series, this time featuring Injustice 2. 

Does this showcase the popularity of Injustice 2 and the Fighting genre for this audience? Not necessarily as ESPNU showed the same game on a Wed at 1AM and drew the lowest audience of any eSports program with 11,000 viewers.

More than likely the high viewership is The CW's reach, coupled with a great time slot; vs. the actual title as evidenced by the #2 program around another new game H1Z1.

 

DISNEYXD

We've already covered DisneyXD's massive eSports programming but this past week was a special one: the 2017 Nintendo World Championship were broadcast for the first time on the channel. 

And it delivered.

TNL Infographic 063: DisneyXD's eSports TV Ratings and Nintendo World Championship (Infographic: The Next Level)

TNL Infographic 063: DisneyXD's eSports TV Ratings and Nintendo World Championship (Infographic: The Next Level)

Nintendo's family friendly games fits perfectly with DisneyXD's audience and it's not surprising that the 2017 World Championship would rank as #1 - what is surprising is that it drew 30%+ more viewership than the 2017 EVO Super Smash Bros. Finals which is the second ranked program.

Nintendo based games/events currently make up 6 of the top 7 ranked eSports programs on DisneyXD.

 

TBS

This week ELEAGUE had their Counter-Strike preview show before the start of the playoffs, which always perform well as it's just 1 hour vs. 3 hours.

The very interesting part is that this week, the Preview show was shown at 3AM and still garnered 300,000+ viewers. 

Pretty amazing considering the time slot and more data showing the audience appetite for eSports shoulder content.

2017 eSports TV Ratings: India's DOTA2 Debut Draws 500K Viewers

2017 ESPORTS TV RATINGS: INDIA'S DOTA2 DEBUT DRAWS 500K VIEWERS

DOTA2 Championship The International 2017 on Indian Television (Photo: DSport)

DOTA2 Championship The International 2017 on Indian Television (Photo: DSport)

TNL Take: This week on The Next Level's look at eSports TV Ratings, I have finally have something I've wanted for a while: International data and especially from Asia.

Last month, the $25M DOTA2 The International 2017 Finals was shown on Indian television for the first time and the ratings delivered 500K+ "Unique Viewers". 

India.png

This data is interesting for a few reasons:

  • The event was tape delayed 8 hours to tap into a new audience as the hardcore fans would have watched it live digitally 
  • Program time was on a Sunday from 11AM - 4PM
  • Most importantly, finished 3rd in Sports ratings for the week behind Cricket and the English Premier League

The data above is from India's official ratings agency BARC and I've reached out to Nodwin Gaming, the company that worked on the programming, for further clarification on the "Unique Viewers" metric as the total viewers for the full 5 hours was significantly lower. With the usual caveat of having just 1 datapoint, it's still great to see the growth of eSports TV content globally.

2017 eSports TV Ratings: ELEAGUE and Injustice 2 (Infographic: The Next Level)

2017 eSports TV Ratings: ELEAGUE and Injustice 2 (Infographic: The Next Level)

 

TURNER

ELEAGUE continues it's solid run with Counter-Strike Season 4 with this past week's Episode 4 was just shy of a quarter million total users and double from the first episode.

Why such an improvement?

It could be attributed to top American team Cloud9 playing this past week and based on the number of their jerseys I saw at ESL One New York the week prior - they have one of the strongest North American fanbases. But Ill leave this to the casters and those that cover the space from that perspective to chat about potentially why.

 

ESPNU

The only other programming this week was ESPNU airing Capcom's Injustice 2 and garnering a minuscule 11,000 viewers.

I'd guess the 1AM Wed time slot isn't the best.

 

100+ ESPORTS TV PROGRAMS

One other fantastic milestone this week: we have now crossed 100+ eSports events or programming shown on US television this year across numerous channels.

For perspective, there were 22 total in 2016.

🎮  📺  📈