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Activision in multi-year deal with ESPN, Disney XD for live Overwatch league games


(Reuters) - Blizzard Inc signed a multi-year agreement with and XD on Wednesday for live coverage of its videogame league, as rising popularity of the medium attracts more viewers.

In January, launched the professional league around its popular first-person shooter videogame, which has over 40 million players worldwide.

The league's "Grand Finals", which will be telecast on ESPN, marks the first time live competitive will air on the network in prime time, and will be the first broadcast of an championship on ABC, said the companies.

"This overall collaboration with Disney/ABC, and Blizzard represents our continued commitment to e-sports," said Justin Connolly, executive vice president, of and

Earlier this year, announced a two-year deal to broadcast the first two seasons of the league on's

E-sports refers to events ranging from virtual warfare games to computer-simulated matches that are often played for big prize money in tournaments.

About 427 million people are expected to watch video worldwide in 2019, according to market research firm

(Reporting by in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, July 11 2018. 21:28 IST