Overwatch League to Air on ESPN, ABC and Disney

Overwatch League ESPN ABC Disney

"We've seen incredible passion and support from fans during the inaugural season of the Overwatch League, and we're looking forward to capping it off for them with an epic Grand Finals at Barclays Center later this month". Even within the gaming community, a lot of people don't follow esports. Right now OWL is a niche within a niche but moves like this are its chance at staying sustainable.

The network has done esports broadcasts in the past, from Heroes of the Dorm through the Street Fighter V World Championships and sports properties like Federation Internationale de Football Association and Madden, but corporate parent Disney's new deal with Activision Blizzard to pick up extensive rights to Overwatch League for the next several years feels like a big step. Justin Connolly, executive vice president of affiliate sales and marketing with Disney and ESPN Media Networks, echoed similar sentiments, highlighting how the deal is by far their most comprehensive television distribution for an esports event over a single weekend (referring to the finals).

Best of all this "agreement does not cancel existing distribution agreements already in place, like Twitch broadcasts". Considering that ESPN is the biggest sports broadcast network it makes sense to get in on the ground floor: while OWL is still in its infancy.

"We are turning the corner here in terms of our interest and engagement in the esports category", ESPN Vice President of Digital Media Programming John Lasker said on the website's story. With this deal, new and younger fans who might not be as familiar with the professional aspect of the game now have the capacity to be introduced to the world of esports and Overwatch League.

This partnership is one of many that will continue to expand the Overwatch League. ESPN is invested in the growth of the National Basketball Association and now we hope they are invested in the growth of our league. The Philadelphia Fusion will face the Boston Uprising in the first playoff quarterfinals showdown in Overwatch League history. While not all of us have the same interests within this hobby/craft, the prosperity of video games (in nearly any facet) is a win for all of us. The full broadcast schedule is below.

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