Can eSports become bigger than NFL and NBA?

Can eSports become bigger than NFL and NBA?

ESports has come of age. The development in eSports and the recurring investments into eSports only points to one direction, growth.

A couple of years ago, eSports referred solely to Valve’s big prize pool events. However with multiple powerhouses in eSports getting their act together, we see several titles making it big. We have Overwatch, League of Legends making it big in eSports.

In a recent public talk at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick spoke about eSports. Kotick expects himself to be negotiating the broadcasting rights of Activision games with US Cable networks in the near future. Valve already has its games ( CSGO and Dota2) being streamed on Live television. TBS has been proactive in appreciating esports and have had a decent couple of seasons featuring CSGO.

“The real question though is the way they’re watching today is over-the-top, so we have our own channel MLG, which is our broadcast channel for professional eSports. What we view our opportunity set as if Leslie or ESPN wants to pay for the rights, a greater amount, that we can monetize on our own channel, we’ll take that.”

Activision’s reach is five times that of Netflix and the demographic of the audience is young. This presents a unique opportunity for Activision Blizzard to propel itself as a frontrunner in taking the reins of esports as it enters mainstream media.

“If you think about our players, if you take Call of Duty, we have 40 million monthly active users-these people are spending hours of their day playing a game, an organized competition-that’s the same size as the preseason NFL. These leagues like Call of Duty or Overwatch have the potential to be the next NFL or NBA.”

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