Overwatch League Coming To ESPN, Disney, & ABC Networks In Broadcast Deal

The Overwatch League will be broadcast on ESPN and ABC

The Overwatch League will be broadcast on ESPN and ABC

The multi-year broadcast deal includes the Overwatch League playoffs - which begin Wednesday night - the Season 1 grand finals from the Barclays Center in NY next month, the Overwatch World Cup this fall and Overwatch League Season 2 next year.

Previously, fans had to tune into Twitch, MLG.com, or the Overwatch League (OWL) website to catch this esports action but now it'll be easily accessible via ABC, Disney, and ESPN. On Wednesday morning, ESPN reported that the League will be broadcast on ESPN, Disney, and ABC as well as their corresponding digital platforms.

As detailed in the report, the deal focusing on live broadcasts and replays but there are digital rights that ESPN may take advantage of for highlight packages on digital platforms. The Overwatch League will continue to be broadcast on Twitch per its $90 million, two-year streaming rights agreement.

"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.

"Clearly by the way we're going to be covering it starting with the playoffs and the finals this year certainly speaks volumes to our excitement and our enthusiasm overall for esports moving forward", Lasker said.

ESPN did not disclose the full terms of the deal. "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".

The Overwatch title came out in 2016 and its popularity led to the creation of a professional league, with players vying in a cartoonish shooting game to control points on a map. Both ESPN and Disney have broadcasted eSports events before, but never in this capacity.

Pete Vlastelica, president and CEO of Activision Blizzard esports leagues, takes a moment to highlight the significance of this moment. 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.

Coverage begins Wednesday with the playoffs on Disney XD and ESPN3.

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