Blizzard signs deal with Disney to bring Overwatch League to ESPN, ABC and other networks

Blizzard is going one step ahead with its Overwatch League (OWL) this time around. The company has struck a multi-year deal with Disney, according to which the aforementioned league will be broadcast on Disney-owned channels on linear television. Channels broadcasting the matches will include ESPN, Disney, and ABC’s family of networks. The initial playoff rounds began on 11 July and will run till the grand finals of the OWL, which are on 27 and 28 July. ESPN vice president of digital media programming John Lasker said in a statement, “We are turning the corner here in terms of our interest and engagement in the esports category. We’ve had an interest and have been watching pretty closely how the first year of the Overwatch League has been progressing, and we’re really excited to be a part of this. Clearly by the way we’re going to be covering it starting with the playoffs and the finals this year certainly speaks volumes to our excitement and our enthusiasm overall for esports moving forward.” In a first, post the completing of the League, the recap would be broadcast on ABC’s networks and the their respective apps. The deal stretches to 2019 and will cover the forthcoming Overwatch World Cup and next year’s OWL. Blizzard’s FPS shooter Overwtach debuted on 24 May, 2016 amidst much fanfare and reached various milestones soon. The players base has been steady for a while and it seems Blizzard is putting more efforts in bringing the esports values out of it.