For the longest time, it was only possible to watch live eSports games on online platforms. Nowadays, there are more avenues where you can view the action with several TV channels jumping on board. Watching eSports on television is a relatively new concept, especially in the US and the UK. The TV channels mostly started featuring eSports to fill the programming void that was created by a lack of traditional live sports like baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey and other games during the pandemic.
TV bosses want to capture a high percentage of the global eSports audience that has grown to include hundreds of millions of people in the past few years. This is one of the reasons some stations are starting to include eSports in their programming schedule, and you can expect the list to continue growing longer in the future. South Korean television networks started the trend when they showed WCG tournaments more than 10 years ago. Check out a list of some of the TV channels where you can watch eSports live.
This is one of the largest eSports TV networks in the globe. GINX Esports TV was a product of rival UK brands Sky and ITV. It is available in millions of homes across over 50 territories in 10 languages. GINX Esports TV seeks to extend the reach of eSports into mainstream sports lovers. It airs eSports content like Dota 2, Call of Duty and the Rocket League, among others. The TV’s central hub is located in London, UK, and it collaborates with different partners and affiliates across the world to offer live tournament coverage and an extensive range of eSports entertainment shows 24/7.
ESPN, owned by Disney, was the host for exclusive live coverage of Heroes of the Dorm on television and digital platforms. This is a popular competition hosted by Blizzard Entertainment where collegiate teams compete for prize pools that include high-end gaming PCs and scholarships. ESPN2 also aired the final airing live. This was a first for the broadcast network, as it was the first live televised coverage of a collegiate eSports event for ESPN. Furthermore, ESPN3 also carried live coverage of BlizzCon as well as the International Dota 2 Championship for 2 years in addition to the League of Legends tournament in 2014. It is also important to note that over the past years, X Games have medalled top Call of Duty and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive pro gamers through a partnership with MLG (Major League Gaming), providing views coverage across ESPN.
BBC offers a unique way for people to watch eSports on TV. In 2015, the network had a brief involvement with eSports when it broadcasted the League of Legends World Championship live from Wembley. This opened up doors for the now digital-only BBC 3 to enter a partnership with Gfinity to broadcast its Elite Series every Friday. This is a clear sign that BBC is now taking eSports seriously, and the live eSports action may soon make its way into mainstream TV.
TBS broadcasts ELeague, one of the most-recognized eSports competitions that attract over 9 million viewers. ELeague is an international eSports event for top games like Street Fighter V, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, and Injustice 2. Last summer. TBS also broadcasts Clash for Cash: The Rematch. This is a $250,000 match between CSGO teams Virtus. Pro and Astralis. The network also broadcasts the 10th ELeague Major tournament that is sponsored by Valve. TBS has also televised Overwatch Open live, which was the 1st professional Overwatch tournament to be shown on TV.
Fox Sports, the traditional broadcaster, has also started to air live eSports games on their network. Fox Sports has in recent history aired the Madden 20 tournaments featuring Michael Vick, former quarterback, and other NFL players. Fox Sports 1 also aired NASCAR’s iRacing series that saw 1.1 million viewers tune in. It also signed a deal to air the inaugural eMLS Tournament.
ESL launched a 24/7 eSports TV channel known as esportsTV in May 2016. The channel broadcasts the best of eSports for fans in different parts of the globe, featuring core tournaments and competitions. The channel was launched on MGT’s Viasat platforms in Baltic and Nordic countries. The channel was started to tap into the audience of billions of gamers across the globe. The platform primarily features ESL’s broadcast and competition from Pro League, ESL and Intel Extreme Masters circuits. It also facilitates partnerships with local digital and linear broadcasters to better meet the needs of the audiences with top-notch eSports content.
Now that you have an idea of where to watch live eSports games on TV, it is also important to mention that there are platforms that offer you the opportunity to engage in eSports betting. This allows you to place bets on both minor and major esports events.