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Overwatch League Playoffs to Air on ESPN, Disney XD & ABC

July 11, 2018 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Tracer Overwatch League

Blizard Entertainment is bringing the Overwatch League to broadcast and cable television. The company announced on Wednesday that they have signed a multiyear deal for live television coverage of the Overwatch League that will begin with playoff coverage tonight and include all of the playoffs on ESPN and Disney XD. The coverage will run throughout the playoffs including the Grand Finalks, with a recap show highlighting the biggest moments airing on July 29th on ABC.

This marks a big moment for esports, as the Grand Finals telecast on ESPN marks the first time live competitive gaming has aired on the flagship network in primetime. It is also the first broadcast of an esports championship on ABC.

“The Overwatch League Grand Finals is by far our most comprehensive television distribution for an esports event over a single weekend: 10 total hours over four networks and three days,” said Justin Connolly, Executive Vice President, Affiliate Sales and Marketing, Disney and ESPN Media Networks. “This overall collaboration with Disney/ABC, ESPN and Blizzard represents our continued commitment to esports, and we look forward to providing marquee Overwatch League coverage across our television platforms for fans.”

“We are pleased to partner with Activision Blizzard to bring Overwatch esports to our audience. The Blizzard team has created a genre-leading esport and a premium professional franchise system in the Overwatch League,” said Marc Buhaj, Senior Vice President, Programming and General Manager, Disney XD. “We are kicking off the agreement by showcasing the inaugural season playoffs and Grand Finals live across our linear footprint. Together with our telecast partners at ESPN, we look forward to growing a legion of new Overwatch fans across the next two years.”

“We’re excited to be working with ESPN and DisneyXD to bring Overwatch esports to an even wider audience,” said Pete Vlastelica, President and CEO of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues. “We’ve seen incredible passion and support from fans during the inaugural season of the Overwatch League, and we’re looking forward to capping it off for them with an epic Grand Finals at Barclays Center later this month.”

Overwatch League began its first season in January and has been quite successful for Blizzard, who signed a $90 million two-year deal to broadcast the league on Twitch. The league saw twelve teams from across the world compete in a forty-game season, with the top six teams making it to the playoffs. Whereas the regular season took place from Los Angeles, the Grand Finals will air from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on July 27th and 28th, and will see the winning team take home a $1 million prize.

The second season is expected to add four to six new expansion teams headqauartered in locations across the world. The terrestrial TV broadcast will air alongside the primary digital viewing experience on Twitch, with the Overwatch League also available via MLG.com.

The full telecast schedule is below:

July 11th (8 PM ET/5 PM PT): Day 1 of Quarterfinals – Disney XD, ESPN3
July 13th (8 PM ET/5 PM PT): Day 2 of Quarterfinals – Disney XD, ESPN3
July 14th (4 PM ET/1 PM PT): Day 3 of Quarterfinals – Disney XD, ESPN3
July 18th (8 PM ET/5 PM PT): Day 1 of Semifinals – Disney XD, ESPN3
July 20th (7 PM ET/4 PM PT): Day 2 of Semifinals – ESPNEWS
July 21st (7 PM ET/4 PM PT): Day 3 of Semifinals – ESPN2
July 27th (7 PM ET/4 PM PT): Day 1 of Finals – ESPN
July 28th (4:30 PM ET/1:30 PM PT): Day 2 of Finals – Disney XD, ESPN3
July 28th (9 PM ET/6 PM PT): Day 2 of Finals – ESPN2 (re-air)
July 29th (3 PM ET/12 PM PT): Highlights Recap – ABC, ESPN3

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