BT Sport to show FIFA 17 eSports games, bringing the sector to the mainstream
As the world of eSports has grown exponentially over the past few months, it may well have become mainstream today, after BT Sport sealed a deal to bring EA Sports’ FIFA 17 Ultimate Team Championships – on both Plastation4 and XBox One consoles – to a mainstream sports audience.
After Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga have all announced that their teams will take part in FIFA 17 tournaments, and the Celtic eSports league has grouped teams from Britain and Ireland together for a tournament, it seems that established football clubs are getting in on the action.
Now, with BT Sport on the scene, the entire eSports industry seems to have gained further legitimacy as a mainstream sport and form of entertainment in its own right.
It’s a big step for the broadcaster, too. Over the past few months, they have shown themselves to be digitally savvy, live streaming build-up shows with pundits and journalists on Facebook Live and Periscope in the lead up to televised live football and rugby games.
It remains to be seen, however, if viewers tune in to what is, of course, a subscription channel to see an eSports competition.The fact that they are showing FIFA 17 seems to be a natural enough fit, though, and will surely appeal to football fans who already subscribe to the network. But for fans of eSports specifically, who are used to watching on digital platforms, will a move to BT Sport work?
Either way, it’s an exciting time in the industry, and bringing eSports to fans who already subscribe to watch the Premier League, Champions League and other European competitions already on the BT Sport platform further legitimises the sSports sector and brings its growth to the next stage.
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