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

A multi-year broadcast deal between Blizzard and ESPN will put the Inaugural Season playoffs, Grand Finals, the Overwatch World Cup, and Overwatch League Season Two on live television. "And that's what we've got".

"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. "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".

ESPN coverage of the Overwatch League actually begins tonight, with the first round of quarterfinals between the Philadelphia Fusion and the Boston Uprising at 5 pm PT/8 pm ET, followed by the London Spitfire and the Los Angeles Gladiators at 7 pm PT/10 pm ET.

"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. "And open up, have access to a new audience that maybe doesn't spend so much time streaming content online, but who has heard of esports and is familiar with gaming and who's a big sports fan". The championship will be broadcast from the Barclays Center in NY, where both days are sold out. The first team in the finals to win two best-of-five matches will take home the league trophy and the majority of the $1.4 million prize pool. ESPN also holds the broadcast rights to popular esports properties such as the North American division of the League of Legends Championship series.

Media partners are another very important partner in [the Overwatch League] ecosystem. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, although it at least will extend into the league's 2019 season as well.

Blizzard agrees, and compares their relationship to the ones ESPN enjoys with other major sports leagues. "That's what makes it a significant moment".

ESPN, Disney XD and the game's publisher, Blizzard Entertainment, made the announcement Wednesday in a joint release. The full broadcast schedule is below.