American broadcaster, Fox Sports, has secured television and streaming rights to the finals of multiple FIFA 19 esports events.
Fox’s coverage under the new deal will begin with this weekend’s FIFA eNations Cup in London and will culminate in the FIFA eWorld Cup in July and August.
Joe Franzetta, FOX Sports VP Rights & Business Relationships said: “This is a great opportunity to expand our ongoing connection with FIFA and our esports presence together with Caffeine.
“We kicked things off last weekend with the EA Sports FUT Champions Cup from London, and we are ready to go with this weekend’s FIFA eNations Cup.”
Along with the deal, the social broadcasting platform – Caffeine – has also secured streaming rights for all FIFA 19 Global Series events along with the eWorld Cup.
Last September, Caffeine received investment from 21st Century Fox to the tune of $100m (£74m), having previously partnered with ESL. They then followed that up with a deal with Ukranian organisation, Natus Vincere to share exclusive content of their Caffeine page earlier this year.
“This is a great opportunity to expand our ongoing connection with FIFA”
Speaking of their latest deal, Ben Keighran, Founder and CEO of Caffeine said: “We are excited to welcome EA SPORTS FIFA 19 Global Series fans to watch these events live on Caffeine.
“For this weekend’s FIFA eNations Cup, Caffeine will also feature exclusive live hosted broadcasts where streamers AA9skilz, BuckArmy, and CaliSCG will offer their views of the event and interact with fans.”
In addition to being able to watch the coverage of every round live, fans in the U.S can live-host their own streams of the tournaments to watch with friends and fellow fans.
With these latest deals and British broadcaster, Sky Sports, also providing coverage of FIFA19 esports such as the eWorld Cup and most recently the ePremier League, EA SPORTS FIFA Competitive Gaming Commissioner, Brent Koning, believes the coverage will only accelerate growth.
“Building upon last season’s success, the EA SPORTS FIFA 19 Global Series is engaging and entertaining esports and football fans around the world,” said Koning, adding: “The superstars of competitive FIFA are creating a compelling narrative of competition and rivalry, fuelled by amazing gameplay and skill on the virtual pitch.
“Partnering with an established leader in football broadcasting such as FOX Sports will only accelerate our growth and build momentum towards this season’s finale.”
Esports Insider says: It will be interesting to see if Caffeine can convince fans away from Twitch where they can win exclusive drops for in-game items in FIFA Ultimate Team. As for Fox, we’ve already seen ESPN, and Disney XD provide coverage of the Overwatch League; so that we could be seeing the start of a more significant shift in esports coverage by traditional media.