Disney and Blizzard Entertainment announced today that Overwatch League will be coming to the Disney networks, including ESPN, ESPN2, and ABC. According to a report by ESPN, the deal is a multi-year one, including live and highlight programming related to the League. It begins tonight, with the airing of the Overwatch League playoffs.
The deal will carry through the Overwatch Season grand finals and the second season of the Overwatch League next year. There will be live broadcasts of competitive events and a recap show on ABC.
"We are turning the corner here in terms of our interest and engagement in the esports category," ESPN Vice President of Digital Media Programming John Lasker said. "We've had an interest and have been watching pretty closely how the first year of the Overwatch League has been progressing, and we're really excited to be a part of this. Clearly by the way we're going to be covering it starting with the playoffs and the finals this year certainly speaks volumes to our excitement and our enthusiasm overall for esports moving forward."
"It's a cross section that's a hardcore sports fan, especially on ESPN channels," Activision Blizzard esports leagues CEO Pete Vlastelica said. "They love watching competition, they love watching the best in the world compete at a great game. Maybe they have played video games. Maybe they know of Overwatch. Maybe they even play Overwatch or play it a lot. But they're fundamentally looking to be entertained by the highest possible level of competition around a great game. And that's what we've got."
The full schedule for the rest of the season is as follows:
|July 11||8pm, 10pm||Day 1 of Quarterfinals||Disney XD, ESPN3|
|July 13||8pm||Day 2 of Quarterfinals||Disney XD, ESPN3|
|July 14||4pm||Day 3 of Quarterfinals||Disney XD, ESPN3|
|July 18||8pm, 10pm||Day 1 of Semifinals||Disney XD, ESPN3|
|July 20||7pm||Day 2 of Semifinals||ESPNEWS|
|July 21||7pm||Day 3 of Semifinals||ESPN2|
|July 27||7pm||Day 1 of Finals||ESPN|
|July 28||4:30pm||Day 2 of Finals||Disney XD, ESPN3|
|July 28||9pm||Day 2 of Finals||ESPN2 (Re-air)|
|July 29||3pm||Highlights Recap||ABC, ESPN3|