The Mouse is taking the point. Yesterday saw a new deal announced that will see Overwatch League head to the ESPN, Disney and ABC family of networks in a multi-year agreement that kicks in with this season’s Overwatch League playoffs, which began last night. The deal also includes the Season 1 grand finals, the Overwatch World Cup this fall and Overwatch League Season 2 next year with programming set to run on ESPN, ESPN2, Disney XD, ABC and streaming platforms. The agreement does not cancel existing distribution agreements already in place, like Twitch broadcasts.
TV coverage will include the July 27 battle at 7p with the first best-of-five match on ESPN, and continues Saturday, July 28 at 4:30p with the second and potential third series on Disney XD with a re-air of day two Grand Finals play available on ESPN2 at 9p. In addition, a recap show of highlights from the Grand Finals will air July 29 at 3p on ABC.
“The Overwatch League Grand Finals is by far our most comprehensive television distribution for an esports event over a single weekend: 10 total hours over four networks and three days,” said Justin Connolly, Executive Vice President, Affiliate Sales and Marketing, Disney and ESPN Media Networks. “This overall collaboration with Disney/ABC, ESPN and Blizzard represents our continued commitment to esports, and we look forward to providing marquee Overwatch League coverage across our television platforms for fans.”
“We are pleased to partner with Activision Blizzard to bring Overwatch esports to our audience. The Blizzard team has created a genre-leading esport and a premium professional franchise system in the Overwatch League,” said Marc Buhaj, Senior Vice President, Programming and General Manager, Disney XD. “We are kicking off the agreement by showcasing the inaugural season playoffs and Grand Finals live across our linear footprint. Together with our telecast partners at ESPN, we look forward to growing a legion of new Overwatch fans across the next two years.”
“We’re excited to be working with ESPN and DisneyXD to bring Overwatch esports to an even wider audience,” said Pete Vlastelica, President and CEO of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues. “We’ve seen incredible passion and support from fans during the inaugural season of the Overwatch League, and we’re looking forward to capping it off for them with an epic Grand Finals at Barclays Center later this month.”