Esports on ESPN: Overwatch championship to air in prime time
By JAKE SEINER AP Sports Writer
Esports are coming to ESPN. The network will air the inaugural Overwatch League Grand Finals in prime time this month as part of a multiyear agreement to bring esports to the biggest sports platform on American television. Disney and Blizzard Entertainment announced plans Wednesday to broadcast the OWL’s playoffs and championship on ESPN, ABC and Disney XD. The Grand Finals on July 27 will be shown live on ESPN, marking the first time the network will carry esports in prime time. Coverage begins Wednesday with the playoffs on Disney XD and ESPN3. There will be 10 hours total of Grand Finals coverage, including a recap show July 29 on ABC. Disney’s networks will also broadcast OWL matches next season. Financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed. Overwatch is a team-based first-person shooter, with two teams of six players competing over various objectives. The OWL has city-based teams in four countries, including nine US franchises plus teams in London, Seoul and Shanghai. The league plans to expand after this season.
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