Ten, or even five years ago, the notion of giving eSports the same attention and coverage as traditional sports would have been absurd. Who wants to watch people play games…and more importantly who wants to commentate that game play.
However the growth of eSports broadcasting across the world can’t be ignored and is now a legit, bonafide segment of the sports broadcasting marketplace. Tournaments continue to grow in coverage and prize money, and technology continues to grow which allows a lower barrier of entry for aspiring eSportscasters.
I started my sportscasting career by calling games on NHL 2004 for the PC. At the time, you’d hardly consider that eSports, but it allowed me to forge a successful career in puck, by starting with pixels.
MyTechDecisions.com has focused on the technology side of eSports and how more dynamic workflows are allowing more options for commentary. They look at how eSports events are being shown to more and more people on more and more platforms, and even offer up a behind the scenes look at a recent broadcast.
As the fastest-growing and most-watched competition on the planet, eSports is quickly becoming a blockbuster success for broadcasters around the world. Though eSports competitions are typically broadcast to a variety of specialized internet-based platforms, including Twitch and YouTube, for viewing on handheld devices and computers as well as gaming consoles, these events are increasingly being picked up by traditional broadcast outlets, such as NBC, ESPN and ABC.
Last year, the most-watched live eSports coverage was Riot Games’ League of Legends (LoL), with a total audience of 347.4 million on Twitch and YouTube; and its World Championship event broadcast in 19 languages across 30 platforms and television channels, including Twitch, YouTube, ESPN+, OGGN, Facebook, Syfy and TNT Sports.
Since being acquired by Amazon in 2014, Twitch’s numbers have garnered the highest sources of internet traffic in North America, with reported figures revealing that upwards of five million viewers spend an average of 106 minutes watching live gaming each day. This is a significantly higher figure than those tuning into traditional cable programming.