German commercial TV channel Sport1 has entered an exclusive partnership with Blizzard Entertainment for the company’s new and dedicated esports channel.
Blizzard Esports Broadcast in German in Three Countries
Blizzard Entertainment and German TV broadcaster Sport1 has just struck a multi-year partnership, with Sport1 obtaining exclusive rights to provide live coverage for Blizzard’s Overwatch League (OWL) in three countries, including Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
Sport1 will follow the competition starting with the regular season all the way through the playoffs, to the finals. The deal also includes Hearthstone as well as special excerpts from the 2018 Overwatch World Cup.
The partnership was welcomed by Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues’ Jamie Pollack, VP of Business Development:
Germany has always been a top market for Blizzard games, and as such it is very exciting to work with Sport1
Mr. Pollack said that the present partnership was well-aligned with the company’s goals to expand viewership for the OWL:
Being a part of the new channel perfectly aligns with our goal to increase reach and make the Overwatch League and Hearthstone esports more accessible to German fans.
Daniel von Busse, COO at Sport1, also commented on the latest development between the company’s newly-established esports channel and Blizzard:
With its strong global positioning as one of the most prestigious developers and marketers of entertainment software, Blizzard Entertainment is an optimal partner for our new channel ESports1.
Mr. Von Busse further added: “With the Overwatch League and Hearthstone esports, as well as highlights from last year’s thrilling Overwatch World Cup, we are offering three premium esports tournament series on ESports1 that will excite and delight many fans.”
Sport1 has already introduced its dedicated esports channel, Esports1, an offer for German speaking esports fans. Esports1 will air 24/7 and it will feature at least 1,200 hours of professional competitive video gaming, which will be either domestic or international competitions.
Esports channels have not always been successful. In the case of Movistar, a Spanish language TV channel, the company had to shut down its TV operations after 2 years in business in December, 2018.
A month before that, though, AfreecaTV and South Korea’s SBS formed a joint-venture to bring esports to the small screens with “SBS-AfreecaTV”.
Assessing the efficiency of such channels is difficult at this point. The BLAST Pro Series’ parent company, RFRSH Entertainment just tied up a fresh partnership with Brazil’s TV network Globo TV.