OVERWATCH League Will Air and Stream Through ESPN, Disney, and ABC

An Overwatch League match between the Los Angeles Gladiators and the Los Angeles Valiant

Blizzard and Disney are partnering up to bring the Overwatch League to Disney's stable of channels including ESPN, ESPN 2, ABC and Disney XD, all considered "traditional TV channels". Disney's networks will also broadcast OWL matches next season. 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). Twitch purchased streaming rights just before its first matches for $90 million over two years, and the league's channel has had more than 107 million total views.

"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. After the first regular season ended, we discussed how the Overwatch League is changing the way we think about eSports, and it appears that those measures Blizzard took to make it stand out are paying off.

While the deal focuses on live and full replays of Overwatch competition and recap show on ABC, there is a broad swath of digital rights that the networks "plan to take full advantage of", according to Lasker. That might include highlight packages for ESPN digital platforms or even supplemental content catered toward fans who might not be as familiar with Overwatch.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Rob Liefeld's PROPHET Optioned for Live-Action Film
Liefeld is on-board the Prophet film as a producer, alongside Hitman's Adrian Askarieh and Run All Night's Brookyln Weaver. Liefeld has created over 150 characters, including Marvel's Deadpool , Cable, Domino, and the X-Force.

Japan rescuers search house to house as flood toll hits 141
The most extreme rainfall and flooding concentrated in southwestern Japan in the Okayama prefecture and around Hiroshima. More than 30 inches of rain over the past week has led to one of Japan's worst flooding disasters on record.

England lose out to Croatia in devastating semi-final
Speaking to Sky News 22 years on, the ex-footballer said: "Football's coming home, I couldn't listen to it for 20 years, frankly". For France, losing in the 2016 European Championships final to Portugal in Paris has provided added motivation.

ESPN, and parent company Disney, are no stranger to esports. Each distribution point represents a different demographic that could be interested in Overwatch esports, from the hardcore sports fans of ESPN to the younger audience of Disney XD.

Overwatch is a team-based first-person shooter, with two teams of six players competing over various objectives. The NHL also recently signaled its desire to ramp up its efforts around esports to "build more interest and a greater connectivity to our game through the hockey video game", Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a recent interview with ESPN.

For the immediate moment, that's going to lead to quite a bit of coverage of the Overwatch League playoffs, which begin Wednesday with quarterfinals at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Related:

Comments

Latest news

Brazil legend Ronaldo on Neymar: "We all expected more from him"
His performances were at times overshadowed by the criticism he received for theatrically reacting to tackles and physical attention.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Concept leaked with triple camera setup
There will be twin 12 megapixel sensors, one telephoto and one wide-angle, supplemented by a 16 megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera. This feature isn't completely new to Samsung since it launched on the mid-range Galaxy A8 and Galaxy A8 + late a year ago .

German Court sentences women to life in prison for murder
The victims were gunned down between 2000 and 2007 in a case that rocked the nation and saw accusations of institutional racism. They were also behind 15 bank robberies and two bombings in largely immigrant areas of Cologne, prosecutors say.

Tyler Perry tries to protect fans from spammers on his account
Tiffany said she was touched by the gesture, and said he purchased her the auto 'out of the kindness of his heart'. Tyler Perry wants his fans to know that he's not giving away cars, money or anything else on Facebook .

Whitney Houston's mum expresses 'shock' over abuse claims
In the film, Mary Jones , her personal assistant, says she told the singer, "You've got to tell your mother Dee Dee molested you". The Whitney documentary is now available to see in theaters now.

Astros Win on One of the Weirdest Walk-Offs in Baseball History
Talk about a rough way to lose - especially after the A's put up up four runs in the ninth to send the game to extra innings. This would have been his fourth walk-off RBI of the season, but it was credited as an error so he doesn't get credit.

Health Canada recalls some drugs containing valsartan due to potential carcinogen
Valsartan is used to treat hypertension and can prevent cardiovascular complications associated with the condition. The recall came after the detection of a chemical - n-nitrosodimethylamine - that could lead to cancer.

Trump pushes allies for immediate military spending increase
The primary way to do this, is for each nation to increase their defense budget to two percent of their respective GDPs. I am very happy that today we are united in freedom, the Federal Republic of Germany.

Man Utd legend Scholes: Guardiola big influence on England success
When I watch kids' football now, when they can get on pitches that aren't flooded or frozen, I see them playing out from the back. Scholes continued "As an England fan and a former England player, we want to see the best football possible".

Officials To Evacuate Site As 'Perfect' Time For Thai Boys' Rescue Comes
It's been 15 days since the 13 were trapped after venturing into the Tham Luang cave and got trapped by rising waters. Cave rescue experts consider an underwater escape to be a last resort, especially with people untrained in diving.

Nurse accused of killing 20 elderly patients
Investigators found tiny punctures in the rubber seals of the bags, indicating that the antiseptic had been injected into them. She'd timed it so her victims died when she wasn't at work - because she dreaded having to deal with grieving family members.

England V. Croatia, Winner Will Play France
Matt Reece, 25, who works in marketing, said England had far outperformed the low expectations of them when the tournament began. England's bid to reach the World Cup final ended in heartbreak and failure on a night of unbearable tension in Moscow.

Marcus Smart garnering interest from 4 teams
According to Himmelsbach, Smart met with two teams Monday and had another two meetings scheduled for Tuesday. That strategy isn't without risk, though.

Giancarlo Stanton loses out in AL All-Star fan vote
The results of the Final Vote to determine the last roster spot on the American League and National League All-Star teams are in. It's also well deserved after Segura's superb first half helped to anchor the Mariners infield and offense.

Nevada Execution on Hold After Company Objects to Use of its Drug
A witness testified Dozier used a sledgehammer to break Greene's limbs so the corpse would fit in a plastic storage container. Nevada plans to carry out the first execution using fentanyl, a drug at the heart of the U.S. opioid epidemic, on Wednesday.

Other news