2017: ESPORTS TV PROGRAMMING GROWS 4X IN Q1
As we near the end of the first quarter of 2017, let’s take a look at what’s happened with eSports across the TV landscape.
Clearly the biggest change between 2016 and 2017 is the increase in programming. Whereas Q1 2016 had just 2, Q1 2017 will have 9 events on TV.
Naturally we also saw an increase in TV Networks as well with 2 in 2016 and 5 in 2017, with the biggest being the first eSports program on ESPN’s flagship channel.
Last week, I covered how eSports isn’t even close to traditional sports TV ratings yet, so no need to rehash that. However, even with a much smaller audience, there’s some interesting data:
- Not surprising that the ELEAGUE Major was #1 but I'm very interested to see how their first Street Fighter event performs. Considering that another Fighting game - Mortal Kombat - was the highest rated show for 2016, I'm bullish on the genre
- Sports titles dominated Q1 with 7 of the 9 programs – granted there were some Tape Delays and Replays
- EA's FIFA also performed well. The Miami regionals had more than double the audience of last years FIFA Interactive World Cup Finals - 96,000 vs. 41,000
January: The Big 10 Network agreed to a deal with Riot Games to host a League of Legends season spanning 2 months with 12 schools like Michigan, Ohio State and Wisconsin participating (The Big 10 Network is a joint venture between the Big 10 Conference and Fox Entertainment Group).
February: ESPN Brazil announced 3 new weekly eSports TV shows as well as multiple game championships. The shows consist of:
- Multiplayer: An eSports "simulator"
- Match Making: Friday news show covering the Brazilian eSports scene and interviews with Pros
- Arena eSports: Saturday show focused on global eSports
ESPN Brazil also has a deal with ESL to broadcast part of the Brazil Premier League. The agreement will bring 200 hours of programming.
GINX eSports TV is now in the MENA (Middle East/North Africa) region via partnership with the OSN network. GINX eSports TV becomes the area's 1st 24-hour dedicated gaming channel.
GINX eSports TV is now 40+ countries, 9 languages and 36 million homes.