German television broadcaster Sport1 has revealed that it plans to launch a new channel solely dedicated to esports.
As its name suggests, Sport1 mainly focuses on broadcasting sports. A spokesperson for the company told industry magazine DWDL about its plans to develop an esports channel and is actively pursuing partners.
This isn’t the first time Sport1 has been involved with esports, however: the channel first started embracing competitive video games with ESL One Frankfurt in 2016. In August of last year, the broadcaster partnered with ESL to deliver ESL One Hamburg to those in Germany.
Esports is becoming more and more welcomed in esports, with numerous Bundesliga teams entering the industry. The likes of Bayern Munich, VfL Wolfsburg, VfB Stuttgart, and 1. FC Nürnberg all have presence in esports, and the list is poised to grow over time.
Livestreaming platforms are still king when it comes to where fans are consuming esports content, despite the slow increase of television presence its receiving. Take the Overwatch League, for example. It’s been reported that 215,280 households watched the Grand Finals on ESPN in the US, whereas the total viewership on Twitch reached almost 12 million.
Esports Insider says: Since details are so vague at this point – this is basically an announcement that an esports channel is in the works – it’s hard to really judge Sport1’s venture at this point. We’ve seen the likes of ESPN give exposure to Overwatch League recently and that achieved decent numbers, so that’s an encouraging sign for esports’ chances on television.