If eSports are coming to television that shouldn’t surprise anyone. Fans have been eager to get their hands on new and exclusive content and platforms, including the Amazon-owned Twitch, have been obliging. Nearly every partnership signed these days between an endemic or non-endemic company and an eSports organization comes with a clause where the two parties agree to develop unique content.
Sport1, Germany and eSports
Solutions are now coming to the small screen and German TV broadcast company Sport1 has revealed plans to release a channel dedicated to eSports entirely. Germany is an interesting place to be an eSports fan. While the country openly recognizes eSports as an official sport, there has been a staunch opposition from the local Olympic Committee who have been less than happy to nod eSports as a legitimate discipline in any upcoming Olympic Competition.
It has been indeed rather dispiriting to see established institutions snub the segment but that has not stopped the series of high-end tournaments held in the country, from DreamHack to Games Com and PUBG Invitational pow-wows. Germany remains a venue teeming with buzz and excitement insofar as eSports are concerned.
Sport1 Is Looking for Partners
In an interview with DWDL magazine, a representative for Sport1 said that the company is now actively looking into sponsorship opportunities that will allow it to launch the channel.
Even though Sport1’s main focus is sports, the channel has been experimenting with supporting different eSports competitions, including the ESL One Frankfurt back in 2016. It also broadcast ESL One Hamburg in 2017. The rapid growth of the segment and desire for more dedicated eSports action have pushed many companies to consider delivering videos and content on demand.
Of course, the interest in watching eSports hasn’t been sustained everywhere, but for the most part – the global audience has been growing.
Meanwhile, Sport1 sees the point of bringing televised eSports to its users, because a number of mainstream sporting bodies in the country are launching their competitive gaming arms, including Bayern Munich, VfL Wolfsburg, VfB Stuttgart and FC Nürnberg.
In so far as traditional and pixelated sports go, Germany seems to be well-poised to benefit from the overlap between the two.
Embracing eSports as an Olympic Discipline
The next challenge ahead of the country is to convince the Olympic Committee to land its endorsement for the segment. Still, even the staunchest International Olympic Committee (IOC) supporters, have cautioned that in order for eSports to really make the cut, they will have to dispense with some of the violence the games promote.
The most important thing to IOC and the Movement is to uphold the values that are inherent to the competition and have been preserved for centuries. Still, eSports titles such as Dota 2 and League of Legends are brilliantly animated so they may be seen as less threatening.
Developers can also help reduce the level of bloodshed involved by tweaking the graphics and casters avoiding certain language and words that may associate with violence. All in all, Sport1 is right to invest in eSports.