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Sport1 lands Overwatch League rights for new esports channel

ESports1 will show all Blizzard properties in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

German commercial broadcaster Sport1 has agreed a wide-ranging rights deal with video game company Blizzard Entertainment for its new pay-TV esports channel.

The two-year agreement, which covers Germany, Austria and Switzerland, will see ESports1 provide live coverage and highlights of Blizzard’s Overwatch League (OWL) franchise competition, including the regular season, play-offs and finals.

The rights package also includes the Hearthstone digital collectible card game and highlights from last year’s Overwatch World Cup, which saw 24 nations compete for the top prize.

“Germany has always been a top market for Blizzard games, and as such it is very exciting to work with Sport1,” said Jamie Pollack, vice president of business development and media rights for Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues. “Being a part of the new channel perfectly aligns with our goal to increase reach and make the Overwatch League and Hearthstone esports more accessible to German fans.”

Sport1 announces esports channel plans

The announcement comes less than a week after the launch of ESports1, which is the first channel in German-speaking regions dedicated to competitive gaming. The 24/7 network will air at least 1,200 hours of national and international esports events this year, along with highlight formats and self-produced magazine shows.

Daniel von Busse, chief operating officer for TV at Sport1, added: “With its strong global positioning as one of the most prestigious developers and marketers of entertainment software, Blizzard Entertainment is an optimal partner for our new channel ESports1.

“With the Overwatch League and Hearthstone esports, as well as highlights from last year’s thrilling Overwatch World Cup, we are offering three premium esports tournament series on ESports1 that will excite and delight many fans.”

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