Interested in learning what's next for the gaming industry? Join gaming executives to discuss emerging parts of the industry this October at GamesBeat Summit Next. Register today.

Disney and Blizzard Entertainment are partnering to bring Overwatch League to Disney-owned channels, such as ABC, ESPN, ESPN 2, and Disney XD.

Overwatch League is Blizzard’s big esports initiative for its popular team-based shooter. It takes a page from traditional sports by having teams based in cities, such as Seoul, Dallas, Boston, and London. Overwatch League’s first week, which took place at the start of the year, drew 10 million viewers. Blizzard has noted that viewership has grown from there.

So far, Overwatch League has stuck with streaming services and sites like Twitch and MLG. Expanding to traditional TV could help expand its audience. The multiyear broadcast deal starts with Overwatch League playoffs, which start today. The deal also includes this fall’s finals and next year’s Overwatch League Season 2.

We’ve seen Overwatch esports on TV before, but this is the first time Overwatch League will be on TV. Blizzard has shown other esports competition on channels like ESPN and ESPN 2 before, including tournaments for StarCraft 2 and Heroes of the Storm.


GamesBeat Summit Next 2022

Join gaming leaders live this October 25-26 in San Francisco to examine the next big opportunities within the gaming industry.

Register Here

Overwatch launched in May 2016 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. It has reached over 40 million players. Overwatch League competitors use the PC version.

GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. Learn more about membership.