2017: eSports, TV and Broadcast Rights
TNL Take: Go ahead and file this away till December but mark my words:
In 2017, eSports TV, broadcast rights and exclusivities will see big growth.
Yesterday we looked the 1st national eSports TV broadcast of the year with ELEAGUE's Counter-Strike Major.
There's been a lot more news over the past 6 weeks.
ESL PARTNERS WITH FORMER FOX SPORTS CREATOR
ESL was on a tear in 2016...
- Yahoo to distribute ESL content across their various distribution points
- 5 year deal with African broadcaster Kwese Sports
- Partnership with France's Vivendi and Canal Plus
... and 2017 is not slowing them down.
Yesterday, ESL announced a partnership with former creator of Fox Sports David Hill to launch "eSports by Hill" to provide premium broadcast experiences to eSports.
Hill is a Fox veteran having created Fox Sports and regional Sports networks as well as being responsible for the 1st Down yellow line in NFL broadcasts (Win) and the glowing Hockey puck (Fail). Hill also co-produced the 88th Academy Awards and was the executive producer on “The X Factor” and “American Idol.”
While some have commented that Hill was also responsible for the train wreck that was the Championship Gaming Series, that may have also been a case for CGS being too early having launched a decade ago.
Will be interesting to see what Hill brings to ESL in terms of production and casters.
YOUTUBE GAMING GETS EXCLUSIVE ENGLISH RIGHTS TO ESL'S COUNTER-STRIKE LEAGUE
I told you, ESL is not slowing down.
ESL's Pro League features 28 of the top NA and EU Counter-Strike teams battling for a $1M prize pool per season with the Season 5 Finals held at the Verizon Theatre in Dallas in June.
GINX ESPORTS TV BRINGS ESPORTS TITLES TO TV
GINX eSports TV, the UK based 24/7 eSports cable and satellite channel, announced that their "The First Hour" show would feature an eSports twist for the new season.
Hosts Adam Savage and Anthony Richardson will chart their first hour of gameplay with AAA releases along with familiar eSports titles and Athletes in the space.
These type of "Let's Play" shows have performed well for YouTuber's but the jury is still our on how this works within eSports. Playing a new game for an hour vs. a popular eSports title are 2 very different things.
FETCH TV LAUNCHES AUSTRALIA'S FIRST 24 HOUR ESPORTS CHANNEL
UK based GINX eSports TV launched in Q4 of 2016 and is already distributed in 40+ countries worldwide.
Now Australia wants in on the action.
Aussie IP-based broadcaster Fetch TV announced the launch of Malaysian-based eGG (Every Good Game) on its platform earlier this month with the first broadcast being the Dota 2 Boston Major which featured 3 Australian eSports Athletes.
In addition to international eSports tournaments, eGG will also feature shows based around gaming culture, reviews, events and talk shows.
ESL AND SPANISH BROADCASTER MOVISTAR JOIN FORCES
Spanish telco company Movistar, owned by parent company Telefonica Espana, announced a partnership with ESL to push eSports further in Spain.
The deal is made up of several parts:
Movistar and ESL will bring more sponsored amateur and professional competitions with eSports games like Counter-Strike and League of Legends (the Spanish ESL National Championship previously existed)
The company announced their own eSports club Movistar Riders, which will have teams in 5 games - although that seems like a conflict?
Movistar will also launch an eSports TV channel to broadcast Spanish eSports events, as well as 13 global events in 2017
Additional eSports content will be produced in the new Movistar Gaming Center, which will also act as the physical headquarters for Movistar Riders
Only 1 month down in 2017 and eSports is growing even more quickly than 2016.