Disney XD is stepping into the ring. The network announced that the channel will host the EVO finals for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U this weekend on Sunday night at 6PM ET/3PM PT. The channel will air the final alongside the internet streaming service Twitch.
The announcement is meant to introduce D|XP, a gaming centric programming block launching on the network this summer. The block will include shows produced by Disney co-network ESPN, ESL, and Maker Studios.
Disney XD will be pushing its own hosts to commentate the event, with D'Ron Maingrette and Victoria Alexis heading broadcast duties for Disney XD, while Twitch pushes Terrence Kershaw and Phil Visu as their channel's commentators.
Super Smash Bros is one of the most popular events at EVO, and it will be interesting to see how the reaction to the finals broadcast on Disney XD will be. Disney's other networks like ESPN are already spearheading esports coverage. ESPN 2 will be broadcasting the Street Fighter V finals, while ESPN 3 will stream Rocket League at the Summer X Games.
Disney is clearly making a push to broadcast esports and gaming content on cable TV. Other countries like France and South Korea already dedicate entire channels to gaming, so these flirts with gaming programming should be a good test to see how gaming content on TV is embraced in North America.