Announced ahead of this weekend, EA and the NFL are set to team up with both ESPN and Disney XD for the exclusive broadcasting rights to the upcoming EA Sports Madden NFL 18 Championship Series.
This partnership will kick off with the final rounds of the final rounds of the EA Sports Madden NFL 18 Club Championship and the all-new EA Sports Madden NFL Ultimate League – this is ESPN’s first long-term competitive agreement that spans multiple events.
The Madden NFL Ultimate League commences on Friday, February 2 and will last for over two months – ultimately leading to the NFL Draft on April 28. Six players will qualify by obtaining a top-two finish at one of the three EA Majors, which includes the Madden NFL 18 Classic, Madden NFL 18 Challenge and Madden NFL 18 Club Championship. The remaining 10 players will be identified through having the highest series points.
Todd Sitrin, SVP and GM of the Competitive Gaming Division at EA said that “The Madden NFL Ultimate League is purposely designed to make superstars of our best players, allowing viewers to develop player loyalties and follow competitor rivalries.”
“Through this collaboration with ESPN and Disney XD, we’ll provide ongoing coverage for fans worldwide across a variety of ESPN and Disney platforms, but also digitally through our own Madden streaming and social channels,” Sitrin continued.
John Lasker, VP of ESPN Digital Media Programming, also discussed the partnership: “We’re thrilled to continue and expand our relationship with EA and the NFL in not only showcasing to our audiences these world-class esports competitions for multiple years, but also using the myriad ESPN and Disney global platforms to tell the incredible stories of these competitors.”
Chris Halpin, Chief Strategy Officer of the NFL, added: “We are excited to partner with EA SPORTS and ESPN to bring the Madden Club Championship and Madden Ultimate League to the millions of Madden NFL fans globally and to broadcast these competitions from our key fan events, like the Super Bowl and the Draft.”
“We are also thrilled to be the first major professional sports league to have every team represented in a premier esports event. We are confident our fans will love the competition and action,” Halpin concluded.
Starting on Friday, January 26, the quarterfinals of the Madden NFL 18 Club Championship can be watched on ESPNEWS. The next broadcast will be of the final, in which fans can tune in on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.
Esports Insider says: Madden NFL coming to mainstream television can only be a good thing for the esport, and it’s reassuring to say ESPN’s commitment to broadcasting competitive gaming to the masses.