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Our deep dive into how esports broadcasting differs from traditional sports

April 13, 2019 / DEAN TAKAHASHI

The world of sports entertainment is changing, and esports is the star player. Market researcher Newzoo forecasts that esports revenue will grow from $906 million in 2018 to $1.7 billion by 2021.In an esports panel at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas this week, we explored how esports will disrupt the  traditional notions of sports broadcasting. Esports broadcasts are evolving into something entirely different and much more interactive than what we’ve seen in the past. We started at a high level, describing for non-esports fans what it’s like to enjoy a big tournament, and we moved on to the different ways it will impact broadcasting, generate money through a diversity of revenue sources, and draw the attention of the biggest advertisers in the world.I moderated the session. Our speakers included David Clevinger, senior director of esports and sports product strategy at IBM Watson Media; Matt Edelman, chief commercial officer at Super League Gaming; Frank Ng, CEO, Allied Esports Entertainment; and Joe Lynch, head of broadcasting at Electronic Arts. We tackled questions like the difficulty of broadcasting a battle royale match, the growth of physical venues for esports, how technology can make esports more interactive, and comparisons to traditional sports, like how much revenue per fan esports generates versus the NBA (Hint: Newzoo says it will be $5.45 per fan per year for esports, compared to more than $50 per fan for the Golden State Warriors.