8:49am PT by Patrick Shanley
ESPN, Disney XD to Air Overwatch League's Inaugural Playoff
ESPN, Disney XD and Blizzard Entertainment are joining forces for an exclusive multiyear agreement for live television coverage of the Overwatch League's playoffs and Grand Finals.
Starting July 11, coverage of the Overwatch League's inaugural playoffs through the first season's Grand Finals will be broadcast on ESPN's networks (ESPN, ESPNEWS, ESPN2 and ESPN3) and Disney XD, and will also be available to stream live on the ESPN App and DisneyNOW.
Coverage of the Grand Finals begin on July 27 at 7 p.m. ET, with the first best-of-five match on ESPN, and continues Saturday, July 28, at 4 p.m. ET with the second and potential third series on Disney XD and ESPN3. All finals matches will also be streamed on Twitch, the league’s primary third-party digital provider.
A re-air of day-two Grand Finals play will be available on ESPN2 at 9 p.m. ET. A recap show to highlighting the biggest moments from the Grand Finals will air July 29 at 3 p.m. ET on ABC.
The deal is historic as it will mark the first live telecast of e-sports on ESPN in primetime and also the first broadcast of a competitive gaming championship on ABC.
“The Overwatch League Grand Finals is by far our most comprehensive television distribution for an e-sports event over a single weekend: 10 total hours over four networks and three days,” said Justin Connolly, executive vp affiliate sales and marketing for Disney and ESPN Media Networks. “This overall collaboration with Disney/ABC, ESPN and Blizzard represents our continued commitment to e-sports, and we look forward to providing marquee Overwatch League coverage across our television platforms for fans.”