We all know that the Overwatch Open already ended. But, it is interesting to analyze the actual impact that it had in the gaming community. This edition had something very particular: The finals were broadcasted on TV. TBS broadcasted the finals, and the information is out already. Let’s take a look at the Overwatch Open Grand Final TV Ratings in the US.
An eSport being broadcasted on Cable TV is something unusual, to say the least. Blizzard made a deal with TBS to broadcast the finals on that TV network. Now, this decision was somewhat controversial.
On one side, you have the actual “gamers” that are interested in an event like this, you know, all of us. We normally watch events through some streaming website like TwitchTV for example. But, this time, Blizzard only allowed the actual matches to be streamed. This means that the analyst desk was only available through Cable TV. A lot of us don’t even have cable tv, why should we when we can watch everything online? This is what upset most of the people that watches eSports through websites.
Then, on the other hand, you have this massive market waiting to be exploited. The people that do not regularly watch eSports but that love watching TV. This was Blizzard and TBS bet, to attract people that would not normally know about the Overwatch Open Grand Finals. And, well, it kind of worked.
Overwatch Open Grand Final TV Ratings
The event had a rating of P2+ 280,000k. This is a measurement of the demographic, it means that 280,000 people aged 2 or more watched the event. That is a solid number of viewers. These numbers were enough to rank the event as the 78th most watched Cable TV program on that friday. You can check that information here. That is pretty good for an eSports.
The drawback on this, however, was that the “analysis” of the game had to be toned down quite a bit. It is not the same to have casters talk to a demographic of people who actually play the game, as it is to have them explain the basics to people that have never watched it.
But, all and all this seemed to be a good move on Blizzard’s part. And it was interesting, nonetheless, to see how many people actually watched the show. Who knows, eSports on TV might be the next big thing.