With the first season of Turner Sports’ ELEAGUE coming to an end this weekend and celebrating some great success on TBS, the question arises whether other esports titles are ready to make the jump to live television. If this ends up happening then Twitch would surely still be used for livestreaming esports, but big events can begin tapping into broader audiences that prefer to watch on the big screen through television rather than streaming online. Highlights, interviews, and analysis segments of games would be aired on TV and provide interesting content for when there are no live games happening.
We have already seen League of Legends being broadcasted on television in the past with the Big Ten Network teaming up with Riot Games for the Collegiate Esports match between Ohio State University and Michigan State University back in the middle of April. In Korea, esports has it’s own television networks. Now that it has reached the masses here in North America, should we not be following in their footsteps? What is stopping Riot Games from working on securing a deal with a network willing to broadcast esports on a regular basis? Or better yet, having their own television network? I for one would love to wake up in the morning and watch League of Legends highlights and analysis on the screen in my kitchen while I am having my breakfast. Heck, they could even begin to run a League of Legends animated television show based on their lore and start putting that to better use. I mean, have you seen those cinematics?
According to this article released by League of Legends Esports in June, the 2016 Mid-Season Invitational peaked at over six million viewers concurrently, with an average of two million-three hundred thousand viewers watching simultaneously throughout the eight days. Are these numbers not big enough for a major or even a minor television network to consider?
Imagine a dedicated esports television network. There are currently more than enough titles to warrant around the clock scheduled esports programming and the audience is definitely there. Not to mention this would create openings for more jobs in esports. It is time for the major players in the media industry in North America to pick up on this void and fill it. Perhaps it is still too early to be thinking about a dedicated esports network; however, it is time that large events such as the Dota 2 International and the League of Legends World Championships to be broadcasted on live television in North America.
Written by Dylan Didiano
Edited by Williaf
Featured Image provided by Riot Games
Video provided by League of Legends