2017 ESPORTS PREDICTIONS REVIEW: TV
TNL Take: As this year comes to a close, this week The Next Level will review our 2017 predictions and score how well we did.
/01 20+ esports events in 2016. We may see double that this year.
Across the board we will have seen 100+ esports programs on TV in 2017 and a huge increase from 2016. The Top 25 are listed above but expect to see Madden show up near the top when it debuts on The CW next week.
/02 More broadcast deals as Publishers look to monetize their content
The trend for exclusive esports content continued in 2017. Facebook had several deals including partnerships with Blizzard's Heroes of the Dorm, G2 Esports, 76'ers owned Team Dignitas, ESL, PUBG and Hi-Rez Studios for Paladins Premier League.
YouTube Gaming also picked up a few exclusives including ESL's English language streams for Counter-Strike, a new partnership with Faceit and a slew of product developments.
Twitter also announced they would livestream 1,500 hours of esports content this year and we saw many TV broadcast deals as well.
/03 Another OTT deal such as MLBam and Riot's $300M deal
We still don't know the full distribution list for both Overwatch League and NBA 2K League but expect both of those to be announced soon.
We did see the announcement of the WHAM Network for a 24/7 esports and gaming lifestyle channel along with ESPN's upcoming OTT launch which should include esports content but neither launched in 2017.
/04 More Sports esports on TV like Madden, FIFA and NBA2K
Last year saw only 2 esports sports programs on TV with Madden 17 and FIFA 17. In 2017, including re-runs, sports esports included 14 programs. FIFA was shown on ESPN, the first time esports has been shown on the flagship channel.
Further, the EA Madden NFL Challenge will have a 1-hour special on The CW on December 27th and should see strong ratings.
A massive increase in sports esports on TV compared to 2016.
/05 EVO will be bigger and more fighting esports content
More fighting content? Yes with the airing of both Street Fighter V and Super Smash Bros Finals.
2017 Esports on TV Prediction Score: 4 out of 5