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Volume 26 No. 227
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Activision Blizzard's Kotick Talks Unique OWL Ownership

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said the Overwatch League has the "unique opportunity to pick our owners" and to allow them to be "entrepreneurs in their markets." Appearing on CNBC's "Squawk Box" yesterday, Kotick said sometimes team owners "can't actually be a local entrepreneur" in their market because the league they are in "controls a lot of the monetization." He noted the OWL "created a structure that would allow these great owners," like Robert Kraft, Stan Kroenke and Jeff Wilpon, to be "great entrepreneurs." In creating the OWL, Kotick spoke with "every commissioner" and "went to talk to many of the professional team owners across all sports." It was all in an effort to "really understand what made the leagues most successful." Kotick said it is "hard to know" if esports could ever surpass Activision Blizzard's main business of video game development because "our base business has enormous amounts of potential." However, "every one" of the esports teams "has enormous potential to grow their audiences and grow engagement and grow monetization" ("Squawk Box," CNBC, 11/20).