French media company AB Groupe has acquired broadcasting rights to Activision Blizzard’s Overwatch League , and will air the competition via its Esport Zone programme on pay-television channel AB1.
AB Groupe will provide coverage of the OWL in France and other French-speaking regions, namely Monaco, Andorra, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Mauritius, Madagascar, as well as in French overseas territories.
With this, Activision Blizzard and AB Groupe expand on an existing agreement from October last year, wherein AB Groupe secured the exclusive TV broadcasting rights in French-speaking Europe for other franchises of Activision Blizzard, citing Hearthstone, Call of Duty, and World of Warcraft.
The main livestream broadcasting rights for the OWL were secured by Twitch in a two-year deal, reportedly worth at least $90M.
The main livestream broadcasting rights for the OWL were secured by Twitch , as announced earlier this year. The two-year deal, reportedly worth at least $90M, includes the rights to stream the competition in all regions other than China, with the competition currently receiving coverage in Korean, English, and—interestingly enough in this context—French.
Back in January, OWL commissioner Nate Nanzer told The Huffington Post that “esports is digital native content” and that it was very important for them to put a lot of “energy and effort to make sure we had a good digital distribution platform.”
“Television can play a really interesting role, particularly internationally where there are markets like Brazil in which broadband internet penetration isn’t the same as it is in a place like South Korea. In a place like Brazil, a television deal could help us. We are taking a global look to television to see where it makes sense. In the U.S. we are interested and having conversations about some of this content living on television, but we really think of this as a digital product,” Nanzer, explained.