Facebook Signs Exclusive Broadcast Deal With ESL And WESA

Posted on January 21, 2018 - Last Updated on January 20, 2023

In some big esports broadcasting news, Facebook has secured exclusive streaming rights for two major esports events.

A partnership with World Esports Assocation and ESL will give the social media giant the rights to exclusively stream the ESL One and ESL Pro League events. The rights include English and Portuguese language streams.

Deal starts with ESL One Genting

The upcoming ESL One Genting tournament will be the first to fall under the newly forged partnership, which is valid for one year. Running Jan. 23-28, the Malaysian Dota 2 tournament is among ESL’s biggest events. It features 16 of the world’s top teams and a prize pool of $400,000.

The ESL Pro League, a CS:GO tournament series previously streamed via YouTube, is also moving to Facebook’s platform. Thanks to Facebook Live, the event can now be streamed in 1080p/60fps and through Facebook 360 using Gear VR. The streaming deal for this property is agreed for four seasons, until December 2019.

“Building on our successful partnership, we believe Facebook is the perfect platform to bring both Pro League and ESL One competitions to new and existing audiences,” said ESL Senior Vice President of Global Media Rights & Distribution Nik Adams. “With Facebook broadening their portfolio of top-tier live sports events and leagues, we are excited to add this content to their lineup and guarantee the very best of viewing experiences to our passionate fans.”

ESL One is owned by ESL, and the Pro League is owned by the World Esports Association (WESA), a group of esports organizations that includes ESL and 13 teams from Europe and the US.

“With Facebook’s scale, especially in gaming, and the digital-first instincts of our viewers, we believe this partnership will both reach and better serve our global CS:GO audience by bringing the excitement and drama of Pro League directly to our fans,” said WESA Executive Chairman and Commissioner Ken Hershman.

But wait, there’s more

On top of the two properties, ESL will also produce a weekly five-minute show on the Dota 2 community through Facebook’s new show platform, Facebook Watch.

Facebook’s new cross-posting feature will also come into play. Through it, ESL can share videos across participating teams’ and players’ pages. Plus, the organization can aggregate insights from these sources.

“For years ESL has used Facebook to nurture its global community while broadening the audience for esports competition to millions of fans worldwide,” said Facebook Global Director of Games Partnerships Leo Olebe.”Having two of ESL’s most adored properties for CS:GO and Dota 2 streaming exclusively on Facebook is the next step in our efforts to delight the passionate esports community on Facebook.”

The new broadcasting deal follows news from back in May when ESL and Facebook entered a content partnership. Since then, ESL has dramatically grown its community thanks to Facebook’s international reach.

Editorial credit: tongcom photographer / Shutterstock.com

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Dejan Zalik

Dejan has been involved in gaming for over 10 years. Moving from classics like Diablo 2, Lineage 2, and Warcraft 3, he found his passion in Dota 2, which he’s been playing ever since. He also likes to keep up to date by reading and writing about whatever is happening in the industry.

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