In a big deal for Esports and a huge deal for The Overwatch League, Blizzard and Disney have come to a deal for broadcasting the Overwatch League across all of Disney’s television networks. ESPN, Disney Channel and ABC will all broadcast hundreds of hours of Overwatch content combined starting with the League Playoffs on Wednesday and covering a multi-year term that will cover the future league seasons as well as supplementary content to help educate new viewers on what all of these hamsters and jet pack people are doing on their screen.
“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. “We’ve had an interest and have been watching pretty closely how the first year of the Overwatch League has been progressing, and we’re really excited to be a part of this. 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.”
This deal doesn’t stop pre-existing streaming agreements with companies like Twitch but it can’t feel too good for the company who’s looking to disrupt and replace traditional media with content such as esports.
This is also notable as it will be Esports debut on ESPN 1, the prime channel as opposed to ESPN 2 or 3. The rise of Esports as a legitimate “sport” continues.
Overwatch League Playoffs And Grand Finals Telecast Schedule
|Wed., July 11||8 p.m. & 10 p.m.||Day 1 of Quarterfinals||Disney XD, ESPN3|
|Fri., July 13||8 p.m.||Day 2 of Quarterfinals||Disney XD, ESPN3|
|Sat., July 14||4 p.m.||Day 3 of Quarterfinals||Disney XD, ESPN3|
|Wed., July 18||8 p.m. & 10 p.m.||Day 1 of Semifinals||Disney XD, ESPN3|
|Fri., July 20||7 p.m.||Day 2 of Semifinals||ESPNEWS|
|Sat., July 21||7 p.m.||Day 3 of Semifinals||ESPN2|
|Fri., July 27||7 p.m.||Day 1 of Finals||ESPN|
|Sat., July 28||4:30 p.m.||Day 2 of Finals||Disney XD, ESPN3|
|Sat., July 28||9 p.m.||Day 2 of Finals||ESPN2 (re-air)|
|Sun., July 29||3 p.m.||Highlights Recap||ABC, ESPN3|