2017: eSports, TV and Broadcast Rights

2017: eSports, TV and Broadcast Rights

2017: eSports, TV and Broadcast Rights (Graphic: Julian Burford)

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...

... 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

ESL's Counter-Strike Pro League (Photo: ESL)

I told you, ESL is not slowing down.

YouTube Gaming get's Exclusive English broadcast rights for ESL's Counter-Strike Pro League for Seasons 5 and 6.

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's "The First Hour" (Photo: GINX eSports 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

Australia's Fetch TV To Launch 24/7 eSports Channel (Photo: Fetch TV)

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

ESL Partners With Spanish Broadcaster Movistar (Photo: Movistar)

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.

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.