Overwatch League's Opening Week Draws Average Audience Of 280,000 Globally
The opening week of Overwatch League action drew an average audience of 280,000 globally over four days, OWL officials said. Last Wednesday's opening day drew an average audience per minute of 408,000 before falling back on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Viewership peaked at 437,000 during the first day Dallas Fuel-Seoul Dynasty match, and a total of 10 million people watched at least some part of the first week. It is not clear how much of the OWL viewership came from North America, a key question for potential sponsors. The OWL struck a two-year, $90M deal with Twitch making it the exclusive third party distributor everywhere except China. In China, streaming partners are ZhanQi TV, NetEase CC, and Panda TV. Half the action also streams on Blizzard's in-house platform, MLG.com.
GAINING IN EXPOSURE: The OWL was featured on CBS' "Evening News" last night, with the net's Mireya Villarreal calling the league the “latest phenomenon in the popular world of esports.” She added the OWL is "sparing no expense to make this feel like a real sporting event." The report noted there is an estimated 191 million esports fans worldwide, and the industry last year earned $660M in revenue. Expectations are that figure will grow to $1.5B by ’20.
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