Philadelphia Fusion President Hopes Comcast Connection Propels Esports
Overwatch League Philadelphia Fusion President Tucker Roberts believes that esports could be to Generation Z what "music videos were to Generation X, and Comcast, if all goes well, will be the MTV of this era," according to Christopher Palmeri of BLOOMBERG NEWS. Two years ago, Comcast's decision to pay the $20M franchise fee through Comcast Spectacor to "start the Fusion was the first of several big e-sports bets in which Roberts played a role." In February, he and SK Telecom CEO Park Jung-Ho announced that they were "forming a venture to field teams that will play Fortnite," among other titles. In March, Comcast "revealed plans to build" a $50M, 3,500-seat arena for the Fusion in Philadelphia. OWL teams in '20 will "relocate to their respective home cities." To prepare for that move, Roberts has been "trying to endear the Fusion to Philly sports fans, or at the very least let fans know the team exists." Roberts said that the recent deal with SK Telecom "involves a half-dozen different games," in an effort to "de-risk the portfolio" beyond Overwatch. Despite "murmurs of an e-sports bubble, Roberts sees an opportunity to reach a new generation of fans, particularly young men, who don't follow traditional sports or watch regularly scheduled TV" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 6/11).
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