Two days before the launch of the new pay-TV channel eSPORTS1 on Thursday, January 24, SPORT1 presents the next top-class content partner: Sport1 GmbH has signed a new comprehensive license agreement for two years with ESL, the world’s largest esports company.
Germany’s leading 360° sports platform and ESL have been working together successfully since 2016. The platform-neutral and TV media rights for Germany, Austria and Switzerland include live and highlight coverage of all ESL One events (Dota 2), both European Masters (League of Legends) and the “Red Bull M.E.O. powered by ESL” (Clash Royale). In the run-up to the launch of eSPORTS1, SPORT1 had already signed a cooperation agreement with the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga for the TAG Heuer Virtual Bundesliga a few days ago.
“We are delighted to further expand our pioneering partnership with SPORT1,” said Torsten Haux, VP Global Media Rights & EsportsTV at ESL. “As the coverage of our previous tournaments has rapidly gained popularity, expanding the existing cooperation was the next logical step. In particular, we would like to offer the Dota 2 community another platform to follow our international tournaments.”
Daniel von Busse, COO TV and member of the management board of Sport1 GmbH: “Together with our strong partner ESL, we will now also be staging top-class ESL events on eSPORTS1 after various successful free-TV broadcasts. With the ‘Red Bull M.E.O. powered by ESL’ in Dortmund, we are already broadcasting the first major event on German soil live on our new channel at the beginning of February. Thanks to the cooperation with DFL and ESL, viewers on eSPORTS1 can watch numerous events of the most important esports titles – including League of Legends, Dota 2 and FIFA 19.
High-Class ESL Events Live and in Highlights on eSPORTS1
Great arenas, 300,000 US Dollar prize money and the twelve world’s best Dota 2 teams: With the ESL One Katowice 2019 (February 22 – 24), the ESL One Mumbai 2019 (April 19 – 21), the ESL One Birmingham 2019 (May 31 – July 2) as well as another major event in Germany in autumn, the spectators on eSPORTS1 expect four high-class Dota 2 events. ESL One Hamburg, Europe’s largest Dota 2 festival, was already shown on SPORT1 on free TV in 2017 and 2018.
The European Masters are one of the most high-class esports tournaments in Europe. Last year there were two tournaments: the Spring Masters and the Summer Masters. Between 20 and 26 teams from all over Europe competed against each other for victory and a prize pool of 150,000 Euros.
On 2 and 3 February 2019, the “Red Bull M.E.O. powered by ESL” (Clash Royale) in Dortmund will be the first major event on German soil to be broadcast live on eSPORTS1. The worldwide tournament for the mobile gaming scene is entering its debut season. First the best Clash Royale players of a country compete against each other, before all national champions fight for the title in a global final.
SPORT1 and the ESL – a Strong Esports Partnership
SPORT1 and ESL already cooperated at the live premiere of a major international esports event on free TV on SPORT1, the final of ESL One Frankfurt 2016 on 19 June 2016. In addition to other live broadcasts – including the ESL Championships 2016, 2017 and 2018 – SPORT1 also showed IEM Katowice 2017 and ESL One Hamburg 2017 and 2018 exclusively on its platforms. Since mid-June 2016, SPORT1 has also been an official partner of ESL, presenting its own online shop with selected esports fan articles in the form of the SPORT1 esports shop.
eSPORTS1: First Esports Channel in German-Speaking Countries Launches at the End of January
eSPORTS1 goes on air on January 24, 2019 as the first linear German-language TV channel for esports in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The pay TV channel will be launched via the platforms of Vodafone Deutschland, Telekom, Unitymedia, 1&1, T-Mobile Austria, A1 Telekom, UPC Switzerland and Zattoo. In addition, the content of eSPORTS1 will also be available on its own eSports app. Next year, the new channel’s 24/7 program will include at least 1,200 live hours of top-class international and national esports events as well as highlight broadcasts and self-produced magazines. eSPORTS1 will broadcast the best-known esports titles such as League of Legends, Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch and FIFA 19 live.