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Volume 10 No. 22

Media

Formula 1 and Fox Sports Latin America signed a new agreement in which the broadcaster will carry live races, qualifying and practices, according to Federico Faturos of MOTORSPORT. The agreement will run through '22. Canal F1 Latinoamérica, which carried all F1 races in Latin America from '15-17, recently "ceased operations." The deal covers all of Latin America except Brazil. Fox Sports Latin America will also air live coverage of Formula 2 and the GP3 Series (MOTORSPORT, 1/17).

IN SPAIN: AS reported beIN Sports will carry McLaren F1 driver Fernando Alonso's participation in the 24 Hours of Daytona via its "beIN Connect" online platform in Spain. The race is scheduled for Jan. 27 (AS, 1/18).

The Overwatch League "reached 10 million unique viewers across all platforms and an average of 280,000 viewers per minute on Twitch and MLG during its opening week," Blizzard announced on Wednesday, according to Jacob Wolf of ESPN.com. The league's opening day, Jan. 10, "saw the most significant web traffic of the four-day event." The peak concurrent viewer count was 437,000 on Twitch and MLG alone during a match between the Dallas Fuel and the Seoul Dynasty -- formerly Team EnVyUs and Lunatic-Hai, respectively. Blizzard said that opening day saw an average of 408,000 viewers per minute on Twitch and MLG, "which is more than Amazon's first livestream of Thursday Night Football at 372,000 viewers per 30 seconds in September and Twitter's inaugural Thursday Night Football event" in '16, which "boasted an average of 243,000 viewers per minute." The league was broadcast in four different languages -- English, Chinese, Korean and French -- on six different platforms: Twitch, MLG, ZhanQi TV, NetEase CC, Panda TV and its own Overwatch League website (ESPN.com, 1/17).

For more coverage of the business of esports, visit our partners, esportsobserver.com.

Facebook has acquired the exclusive English and Portuguese-language streaming rights to two major esports properties -- the ESL Pro League and ESL One circuit. YouTube previously had the English-language rights to the Pro League. The deal covers four seasons -- or two years -- of Pro League action, and one year of the ESL One tournament series. The league is owned by the World Esports Association (WESA), a group comprised of tournament organizer ESL and 13 teams in the U.S. and Europe. ESL One is owned by ESL, and its Facebook streaming will begin with ESL One Genting starting Jan. 26. Terms were not disclosed. Both sides said the exclusive relationship will allow ESL and WESA to make better use of Facebook's social media and advertising tools to monetize viewers of the stream, and to use Facebook's unique size -- 2 billion global users -- to create new esports fans. Facebook will stream live competition in HD and VR, and ESL will be able to cross-post video from its own page to those maintained by individual players and teams. "This is the future of distribution and consumption of digital-first content like ours," WESA Exec Chair & Commissioner Ken Hershman said. "So for our teams, collectively, to be able to start to migrate a lot of their business over to Facebook, both as part of a league and individually, is a very exciting proposition." Facebook Head of Esports & Gaming Partnerships Patrick Chapman said that ESL now gets 45% of its live ticket sales from the platform, driven in part by a May '17 on-demand content programming deal. Other languages will be streamed on different platforms. About 65% of ESL's global audience is English-speaking.

For more coverage of the business of esports, visit our partners, esportsobserver.com.

Eurosport Player is offering a "special cut-price deal" for PyeongChang 2018 -- "new subscribers can access the OTT service at special prices for the month of February." Eurosport is offering the special Olympic subscription for €0.99 ($1.21) in the Benelux, "with similar offers in other European countries." The broadcaster said that after the first month, "regular pricing will kick in, but viewers are free to cancel the subscription at any time" (BROADBAND TV NEWS, 1/18).

Discovery Networks Deutschland will "drop the encryption of Eurosport 1 HD und TLC HD on the cable network of Unitymedia" during the Winter Olympics and "offer the channels free of charge to viewers." Discovery Networks will also offer customers three additional channels with further footage of the Games available exclusively on Unitymedia's cable network beginning Jan. 30 (BROADBAND TV NEWS, 1/17).