Why ESPN is Banking on E-Sports

Drones, professional video gamers and multiplayer competitions are coming to a TV near you.

By Alain StephensSeptember 22, 2016 12:29 pm

It’s a gathering of some of the best sportsmen in the world, where millions of fans are expected to tune in to see one of the fiercest competitions in the world. It’s not football or baseball, though – it’s e-sports.

This week ESPN signed a multi-year deal to showcase drone racing. In a move to bolster stagnant viewership, ESPN is beefing up its coverage of e-sports, with pro-gaming alone expected to generate up to a billion dollars in revenue by 2019.

Omar Gallaga of the Austin American-Statesman’s 512Tech says the U.S. is just now catching up to what has become a worldwide phenomenon.

“It’s turning into something that actually resembles more traditional sports leagues,” Gallaga says. “It’s global, it’s getting huge at gaming conventions.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

        –  What an e-sport actually is

        –  How e-sports became similar to traditional sports leagues

        ­–  Why ESPN is broadcasting drones