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Volume 26 No. 227
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Overwatch League Nielsen Figures Should Help TV Comparisons

The Overwatch League releasing Nielsen viewership figures in average-minute-audience form "should make it easier for buyers to compare the league directly to traditional sports on linear TV," according to Seb Joseph of DIGIDAY. OWL parent company Activision Blizzard is "chasing TV budgets by making it easier for advertisers to compare esports and traditional sports audience behavior." Once marketers "make the comparison between online streams and linear broadcasts, the hope is they will move more money over to esports." Standardizing measurements is in its "infancy throughout esports where different media owners measure their content in different ways and aren’t always clear about the methodology." The challenge for advertisers is "knowing if those numbers have been inflated." Consultancy DDG Dir of Social Media & Mobile Christophe Jammet said, "What’s really needed in the space right now is a holistic evaluation framework that enables brands to make informed decisions about where, how and if they should invest in the vertical. Not all brands, leagues and games are created equal; the audiences are distinct, as are their preferences and market needs" (DIGIDAY.com, 9/5).

IDENTIFYING VIEWERS: Mindshare, N.Y., Managing Dir of Digital Investment Frank Puma said, "As advertisers look for more and more video inventory, especially within the 18-34 (demographic), this is something that will help Activision Blizzard be part of the conversation. What they’re doing is saying: Here is our audience and we are willing to sell in the way you need to buy it. They are making it more digestible for ad buyers." Activision Blizzard Esports President and OWL Commissioner Pete Vlastelica said, "There were these old-school digital vanity metrics like unique viewers and peak concurrent viewers that the esports industry has been using for a long time to brag about reach -- but those numbers don’t mean anything if you can’t make an apples-to-apples comparison." Vlastelica added that the two-year-old OWL "will be profitable this year" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/4).