Vivendi and Canal Group Partner With ESL

VIVENDI AND CANAL GROUP PARTNER WITH ESL

Vivendi and Canal Plus Partner With ESL (Photo: Vivendi)

TNL Take: Someone on the ESL Business Development team has been pretty busy.

Over the past six weeks, ESL has signed a partnership deal with Yahoo eSports, a five-year African TV distribution deal; and now ESL’s next strategic deal is with France’s Vivendi and Canal Group Media groups.

From a Media and eSports investment side, this follows on the French Media deal last week with Webedia buying ESWC and other assets, Spanish Media company Mediapro buying an eSports League and Ginx TV receiving $4M from Sky TV/ITV.

Just follow the eSports money.

Let’s look at the various components of this deal:

 

/01 OFFICIAL ESPORTS LEAGUE

ESL Championnat National (Photo: ESL)

The partnership provides for the launch of the first official eSports League based around the ESL's existing Championnat National.

But here’s the catch: What games involved are still TBD.

 

/02 CANAL GROUP TV

CANAL GROUP (Photo: CANAL GROUP)

This is the bigger part of the deal.

CANAL Group will get to use the partnership to distribute eSports content across it's Channels, subsidiaries and outlets.

 

/03 ESPORTS CONTENT

Game Fever eSports Documentary (Photo: Canal Group)

CANAL Group has also announced the launch of the Canal eSports Club, a new TV show as well as a special documentary called Game Fever, which will be broadcast in Prime Time in October.

 

/04 VIVENDI SUBSIDIARIES

Vivendi Companies (Photo: Vivendi)

Vivendi will also support eSports the via its subsidiaries, Universal Music Group and video streaming site Dailymotion - hint, hint - and live events such as L’Olympia and Digitick.

 

/05 VIVENDI GAMING ASSETS

Vivendi Gaming Assets Ubisoft and Gameloft (Photo: Vivendi)

Vivendi currently owns top mobile Gaming publisher Gameloft and a majority stake in Ubisoft.

While Gameloft has seen limited eSports involvement, Ubisoft is starting to increase their presence with the ESL Rainbow Six Pro League.

Don’t be shocked if an Ubisoft title becomes part of the official French league.

 

/06 TEAM VITALITY

Team Vitality Sponsored by CANAL (Photo: Team Vitality)

CANAL Plus is also a Sponsor of French eSports squad Team Vitality.

You can easily see integration of their content across the touch points above as well.

 

Nicely done ESL team - now gimme a week off.

ESL Signs 5-Year Africa eSports TV Deal

ESL SIGNS 5-YEAR AFRICAN ESPORTS TV DEAL

TNL Take: Europe has dominated eSports investment from both traditional Sports – now 15 teams have invested to dateMedia companies and startups.

Africa is expected to be the next big market after BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China).

Where there’s a market and money, eSports will enter the space.

ESL announced a five-year deal with Africa’s Econet Media’s Kwesé Sports for the pair to broadcast eSports across the continent.

The deal covers a variety of ESL content, such as the Intel Extreme Masters, ESL One and ESL Pro Leagues.  Those have been fairly standard deal terms that ESL has done lately but here’s the slight change.

In addition to broadcasting major tournaments, Kwesé will also be launching the continent’s first 24/7 eSports channel in the coming months.

Kwesé Sports also hosted the African Challenge eSports Gaming (ACE) Tournament that took place at the rAge Expo in Johannesburg this past weekend.

African Challenge eSports (Photo: Kwese Sports)

A 24/7 eSports channel in Africa seems a bit early but I don't believe that Kwesé will restrict eSports to just TV.

Because of their popular Mobile App Kwesé Now.

Kwese Now (Photo: Kwese)

Kwese Now (Photo: Kwese)

The fact that Kwesé Sports is even considering a 24/7 channel shows the long term growth potential of eSports.

Spanish Broadcaster Mediapro Buys eSports League LVP

SPANISH BROADCASTER MEDIAPRO BUYS MAJOR STAKE IN ESPORTS LEAGUE LVP

Mediapro Buys Major Stake In eSports League LVP (Photo: Mediapro)

TNL Take: Just follow the money and everything get's easier to understand.

We've seen the stampede of traditional Sports investment into eSports.

Followed by more activity via Financial companies.

What started with Turner's E LEAGUE, Media companies are now following suit. After last week's French acquisition of ESWC (Electronic Sports World Cup) by Media Publisher Webedia, now comes Spanish Broadcaster Mediapro's controlling share in Spain's biggest eSports League, LVP (Liga de VideoJuegos Profesional).

A few interesting tidbits about the investment and Spain's eSports scene:

/01 FANDROID

Fandroid's Gamergy Event In Spain (Photo: Gamergy)

Fandroid was set up in 2009 by a few ex-AV professionals and created Spain's initial eSports broadcasting platform. In 2011, the first national Finals hit 10,000 Unique Viewers, increasing to 300,000 for the most recent Event in 2016.

As always, be careful of Unique Viewers without Average Concurrent Viewers.

Fandroid also launched Gamergy, the biggest eSports event in Spain, in 2014 which now attracts a stunning 30,000 participants twice a year. 

Finally, Fandroid manages Spains eSports League (LVP), which has 250,000 Registered Players, and more importantly, also owns the broadcasting rights in Spain and for the Spanish-speaking market to the major international League of Legends competitions.

 

/02 SPAIN'S ESPORTS MARKET

With 15 million gamers, Spain ranks fourth in the EU, each playing - not watching - an average of 6.2 hours per week.

Spain's eSports Market has a whopping 74% penetration rate among those under 24.

 

/03 MEDIAPRO

Mediapro Group (Photo: Mediapro Group)

Mediapro made a fun video - sorry, Spanish - about why they acquired Fandroid/LVP.

Ill break it down anyway - Just like with the traditional Sports teams or previous Media company eSports investments, the value of the investment comes from helping the acquired company with the following:

Sports Rights + Production + Resources + Sponsorship + Marketing + Content

 

How many times have I talked about the need for content in eSports?

 

The space is starting to get really fun.

Drone Racing League's Debut Flutters

DRONE RACING LEAGUE'S DEBUT FLUTTERS

Drone Racing (Photo: DRL)

The Next Level 026 (Photo: The Next Level)

While I pointed out the investment opportunity in monetizing the entire vertical infrastructure; the audience and video metrics seemed like a fabrication after further analysis.

Again, not from a Media rights perspective, but value to Viewers which in turn provides value to Brands.  I went further and said that the long term potential for eSports is much more advantageous in this area.

Last week, ESPN announced a distribution partnership with Drone Racing League with the first race broadcast last Thursday.

 

Ill just leave the data right here.

eSports and Drone Racing League Ratings (Photo: The Next Level)