German commercial TV channel SPORT1 has extended its partnership with esports giant ESL in preparation for the launch of its dedicated esports channel eSPORTS1. The two-year deal will see eSPORTS1, which launches Jan. 24, broadcast esports events in Dota 2, League of Legends, and Clash Royale.
Growth in popularity results in extended collaboration
The two companies first started working together back in 2016. That was on free esports content mostly relating to broadcasting grand finals of major events. Seeing the favorable development, SPORT1 its dedicated esports channel last year. The initiative should strengthen the company’s position as “home of esports” in German-speaking regions.
The current two-year licensing partnership includes broadcasting rights for upcoming Dota 2, League of Legends, and Clash Royale events. The channel reaches a core European audience in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
“We are very excited to further expand our pioneering partnership with SPORT1,” said ESL VP Global Media Rights & ESportsTV Torsten Haux. “After witnessing the rapid growth in popularity for the broadcasting of our previous tournaments, an extension of the existing cooperation was the next logical step.”
In the upcoming months, users of the Pay-TV channel eSPORTS1 will be able to follow a wide variety of esports content. Dota 2 fans can watch ESL One Katowice 2019 (Feb. 22-24), ESL One Mumbai 2019 (April 19-21), and ESL One Birmingham 2019 (May 31 to July 2).
League of Legends fans will be offered the LoL European Masters, an event bringing together Europe’s best regional teams. Additionally, eSPORTS1 will also show the Red Bull M.E.O., an ESL-run event of Clash Royale.
Capitalizing on esports’ popularity growth
Sport1 and ESL have had many successful moments over the course of the last two years. Broadcasting major events like ESL One Frankfurt 2016, ESL One Hamburg 2017, and IEM Katowice 2017, among others, the two companies have made moves to capitalize on the growing popularity of esports in Europe.
Committed to producing 1,200 hours of live content, the 24/7 channel is geared toward a highly engaging crowd growing in size. Finally, the channel plans to cover other competitive gaming titles, such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, and FIFA 19.