Esports comes to the BBC in first of its kind deal

‘Big announcement,’ reads the first sentence of the BBC’s statement. And they’re not wrong. For the first time, the British national broadcaster will show live Esports on their now purely digital channel BBC Three.

The BBC announced that they have picked up the rights to show the Gfinity Elite League Series One, taking place every weekend over the next six weeks.

The series will start tonight – Friday 28th July – and interested viewers will be able to see a variety of different games played live from the Gfinity Esports Arena in West London, including Street Fighter V, Counter Strike: Global Offensive and Rocket League as the participants battle it out for the winning prize of £225,000.

The deal is the first of its kind for the BBC, who have the reach to bring the sport to a wider audience than it might currently enjoy, and that’s also the thinking behind the deals for other, mainstream sports that he BBC will be showing over the coming years. Both cricket and golf will return to the BBC, and both sports have seen dwindling audiences thanks to their events being behind a paywall. For a growing sport like Esports, this will only serve to boost awareness even further.

That will probably get a further boost from the fact that the partnership with the BBC will help Gfinity to create new content around their events, their sport, and their players. The BBC will create ‘exclusive lifestyle segments and editorial coverage’, something which is sure to make the sport more accessible to anyone coming to watch it for the first time.

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Chris McMullan
Chris McMullan 660 posts

Chris is a sports journalist and editor of Digital Sport - follow him on Twitter @CJMcMullan_

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