Overwatch League Grand Finals Draw 861K Global Average Minute Audience
The Overwatch League Grand Finals at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Friday and Saturday drew an estimated global average minute audience across both days of 861,205 (inclusive of both ESPN TV networks and various streaming platforms).The London Spitfire’s 2-0 victory over the Philadelphia Fusion drew an U.S. average minute audience of 289,175, with an estimated 45% of that total, or 129,792, falling into the 18–34 demographic. Worldwide, the 18–34 average minute audience was 605,013.
The Overwatch League Grand Finals were streamed worldwide via the primary digital viewing experience on Twitch, as well as on MLG; in China on ZhanQi TV, NetEase CC, and Panda TV; and broadcast to domestic audiences on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, and Disney XD, along with a highlights show on Sunday, July 29, on ABC. The ESPN broadcast was the first time live competitive gaming had aired on ESPN’s flagship network in primetime, while the ABC program was the first esports championship ever shown on that network.
“Having cross-platform success, especially among the coveted 18–34 demographic, showcases the,” said Nicole Pike, managing director of Nielsen Esports. “Marketers seeking to capitalize on the growth of esports among the mainstream population should take note of the league’s multi-platform approach to broadening reach
“Overwatch League started as one of the most ambitious projects in esports history,” said Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin. “We worked together with Blizzard on many new innovative experiences, including a Cheering rewards program, the All-Access Pass, exclusive Twitch chat emotes, a feature-packed interactive Extensions overlay, and more. Seeing our efforts draw an impressive and passionate audience on Twitch for the Grand Finals reflects a promising future for the league.”
“Congratulations to the London Spitfire, who had an unforgettable season and championship run,” said Pete Vlastelica, president and CEO of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues. “We had a number of ambitious goals for the inaugural season of the Overwatch League, and all of these came together during the Grand Finals at Barclays Center: we showcased the pinnacle of esports competition, we created value for our partners, and we reached millions of fans. I can’t think of a better position to be in as we look ahead to the 2019 season of the Overwatch League.”
The Overwatch League returns to Blizzard Arena Los Angeles Aug. 25–26 for All-Star Weekend. Saturday will feature a series of custom skill matches, while Sunday will see the Atlantic and Pacific All-Stars go head-to-head in the official All-Star Game Powered by Intel. The 2019 Overwatch League schedule will be announced at a later date.