eSports Week In Review | Hulu and ESL, eSports TV Ratings, My Week With Soylent

ESPORTS WEEK IN REVIEW | HULU AND ESL, ESPORTS TV RATINGS, MY WEEK WITH SOYLENT

eSports Week In Review (Photo: Pixabay)

eSports Week In Review (Photo: Pixabay)

TNL Take: This past week on The Next Level, we took a deep dive into Hulu and ESL's exclusive eSports content deal, top ratings for DisneyXD, The CW and TBS and another installment of the new feature, eSports Brand Test: My Week with Soylent.

 

MONDAY 10/09

eSports Brand Test: My Week With Soylent

eSports Brand Test: My Week With Soylent (Photo: Soylent)

eSports Brand Test: My Week With Soylent (Photo: Soylent)

Hulu and ESL's Exclusive eSports Deal (Photo: ESL)

Hulu and ESL's Exclusive eSports Deal (Photo: ESL)

2017 Nintendo World Championship on DisneyXD (Photo: Nintendo)

2017 Nintendo World Championship on DisneyXD (Photo: Nintendo)

 

 

THURSDAY 10/12

The Next Level was off

 

 

Have a great weekend!

eSports Week In Review | Amazons Ticketing Opportunity, DisneyXD Programming, Nielsen Esports

ESPORTS WEEK IN REVIEW | AMAZON'S TICKETING OPPORTUNITY + DISNEY XD PROGRAMMING, NIELSEN ESPORTS 

Team Liquid Wins $10.8M From The International 2017 (Photo: Valve)

Team Liquid Wins $10.8M From The International 2017 (Photo: Valve)

TNL Take: This past weekend, Team Liquid won the largest eSports prize pool to date garnering $10.8M - yes, $10.8M or $2M+ per person - by winning The International 2017. 

While that is the largest eSports tournament prize pool by far, here's some perspective on what that means:

The International 2016 vs. US Open Golf 2016 (Graphic: The Next Level)

The International 2016 vs. US Open Golf 2016 (Graphic: The Next Level)

This year's 2017 Golf US Open Champion prize is exactly equal to each member of Team Liquid's $2.16M winnings.

What are you betting on 10 years from now?

This week The Next Level looked at Amazon's eSports ticketing opportunity, DisneyXD' pulls ahead in eSports programming and Nielsen forms eSports advisory board and launches Nielsen Esports.

 

MONDAY 08/14

Amazon + Ticketing + eSports = Opportunity

Amazon + Ticketing + eSports = The Opportunity (Photo: Benjamin Faust)

Amazon + Ticketing + eSports = The Opportunity (Photo: Benjamin Faust)

 

TUESDAY 08/15

The Next Level was off

 

 

WEDNESDAY 08/16

2017 eSports TV Ratings: Disney XD Pulls Ahead With 28 Programs

2017 Disney Networks eSports TV Ratings (Infographic: The Next Level)

2017 Disney Networks eSports TV Ratings (Infographic: The Next Level)

The Next Level Joins Nielsen's eSports Advisory Board (Photo: Nielsen)

The Next Level Joins Nielsen's eSports Advisory Board (Photo: Nielsen)

 

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!

The Next Level Joins Nielsen's eSports Advisory Board

THE NEXT LEVEL JOINS NIELSEN'S ESPORTS ADVISORY BOARD

The Next Level Joins Nielsen's eSports Advisory Board (Photo: Nielsen)

The Next Level Joins Nielsen's eSports Advisory Board (Photo: Nielsen)

I'm thrilled to announce that The Next Level has joined Nielsen's newly launched eSports advisory board as part of Nielsen Esports to provide insight on audience measurement and validation.

-Manny Anekal

The list of advisory board members:

  • ESL
  • ESPN
  • Facebook
  • FIFA
  • Google YouTube
  • Major League Gaming/Activision Blizzard
  • NBA 2K eLeague
  • Sony PlayStation
  • The Next Level
  • Turner
  • Twitch
  • Twitter
  • Unilever

Nielsen today announced the launch of Nielsen Esports, a new business vertical focused on competitive gaming that will leverage the company’s expertise and leadership in media consumption and valuation. Nielsen Esports will provide sponsorship valuation, fan insights, custom industry research and consulting services to rights holders, media platforms and brands around the world that are moving this fast-growing market forward.

Esports has experienced massive global growth over the past few years with major investment from blue chip sponsors, game publishers and media companies, as well as sports leagues and teams. The esports fan base is also rapidly expanding with nearly one in three fans beginning to follow esports just within the past year, according to new Nielsen Esports research.

“There’s a high demand for reliable, independent measurement of value in esports,” said Howard Appelbaum, President, Nielsen Entertainment. “We’re excited to enhance our client offerings and provide the industry with solutions that will help guide and optimize investment decisions in this exciting, growing space.”

Recognizing the need for consistent sponsorship valuation in esports, Nielsen developed Esport24, a syndicated sponsorship tracking service for esports tournaments. The service measures brand exposure in esports tournaments representing a variety of titles, event formats and geographic locations based on the same methodology that allows traditional sports rights holders and brands to quantify value and benchmark performance.

Nielsen Esports will also release global fan insights throughout the year, with a new research offering spanning the US, UK, Germany, France, Japan, South Korea, and China in 2017.

As part of this new business vertical, Nielsen has created an esports advisory board of industry stakeholders who will provide insight to help shape the future of esports audience measurement and valuation. Members include representatives from ESL, ESPN, Facebook, FIFA, Major League Gaming/Activision Blizzard, NBA 2K eLeague, The Next Level, Sony PlayStation, Turner, Twitch, Twitter, Unilever, and Google YouTube.

Time To Kill The "eSports Beats Sports Viewers" Stat

TIME TO KILL THE "ESPORTS BEATS SPORTS VIEWERS" STAT

No eSports Isn't Beating The NBA In Viewers (Graphic: Riot)

TNL Take: If you read any Mainstream Media article on eSports, it pretty much starts like this:

Part 1: What’s eSports? It’s kids playing video games and getting paid for it. Can you believe it!

Part 2: Insert latest SuperData or Newzoo - nothing against those companies - projections on market size and revenue estimates.

Part 3: More people watched League of Legends than [Insert Sport of your choice]

For those that don’t know anything about eSports, the first two parts are totally fine for a new audience – although you know my thoughts on eSports projections.

 It’s Part 3 that I have the biggest issue with. Why?

Because it’s completely wrong.

Go ahead and Google “League of Legends beats NBA Finals” and see the results you get. I’ll even make it easier for you, here are the first four:

Results For "League of Legends Beats NBA Finals" (Photo: Google)

Now those aren’t just tiny gaming sites or some random blogs – is that term still used? – no, these are national if not international media organizations.

 

USA TODAY

USA Today's League of Legends Headline (Photo: USA Today)

 

ESPN

ESPN's League of Legends Headline (Photo: USA Today)

KOTAKU

Kotaku's League of Legends Headline (Photo: USA Today)

 

Why would large media companies make statements like these?

Simple: It makes a great headline… and they don’t understand eSports metrics.

Here’s the reality.

 

01/ NIELSEN

When reporting on any TV or sports viewership data – be it the NFL or Mr. Robot – there’s a standard metric that’s been used for a very long time: Nielsen.

Nielsen’s viewership data is based on the “average” number of viewers who watched the entire program or event. It’s not the total viewers in the first hour, the last hour or even the maximum during one particular moment – it’s the average over the whole game.

Here are the Nielsen numbers for the most recent 2016 Sports Championships or Finals:

2016 Sports Championships and Finals Nielsen Ratings (Chart: The Next Level)

02/ NIELSEN AND ESPORTS

So does Nielsen measure eSports?

It’ doesn’t.

That’s why most reported eSports viewership data is all over the place: Maximum concurrent users, total minutes consumed, most social posts, engagement metrics, tickets sold, number of hot dogs consumed, etc.

So you can’t really compare Sports TV content with digital eSports content.

Yet the media still does.

 

/03 US VS. INTERNATIONAL

Here’s a little secret that pretty much only people who work in the industry know: depending on the eSports game, the international viewership could be anywhere from 25% up to 75%.

The Nielsen viewer numbers don’t count how many people in the Ukraine watched the NBA Finals. It's only US viewers.  But eSports viewership data is global.

Another reason you can’t compare TV Sports vs. digital eSports.

 

/04 WHAT’S THE REALITY THEN?

The reality is that it’s really hard to make an apples-to-apples comparison between Sports and eSports viewership.

But I’m going to show you what I think is closer to reality.

There is always one stat that gets used for the #1 eSports game in the world: League of Legends. The headlines are usually “League of Legends Beats/More/Watched than [Insert Sport Here]”.

So let’s try to get this as close to Nielsen metrics as we possible can for some comparison:

 

  • The 2016 League of Legends Finals had a peak of 14.7M viewers.  That means at one given moment, ~15M people were watching. I’ll be very generous and let’s assume that the PEAK viewers was the actual AVERAGE over the entire game.

 

  • The Finals were between two South Korean teams – SKT and Samsung Galaxy. I’ll be very generous again and say that 50% of the US watched - but it’s probably much lower.

 

Taking those 3 factors into account, the relevant “Nielsen eSports Viewership” for the 2016 League of Legends Finals would be 7M – NOT 43M.

 

So has a League of Legends Finals ever beat the NBA Finals, The World Series or any other Sport in viewership?

Here’s how they stack up based on 2016:

2016 US Viewers: Sports vs. LoL (Source: The Next Level   Graphic: Jordan Fragen)

As you can see, eSports viewership as a whole in the US has a while to go to catch up to other sports.

Before the hate mail starts pouring in, what does this actually mean?

  • Is League of Legends over? No.
  • Is eSports a lie? No.
  • Is eSports dead? No.

Does eSports have a future? YES.

 As I’ve said many times “I don’t care about the next 12 months – I care about the next 12 years”.

I want to see eSports flourish, implement a healthy infrastructure and an ecosystem where players, teams and publishers can all benefit.  I hope that everyone from billionaires to sports teams to venture capitalists don’t expect The Next Big Thing tomorrow.  There's a massive global opportunity ahead.

 

Let’s not burst the bubble before we’ve even started