eSports Expanding Rapidly, Poised To Rival Pro Sports' 'Big 4'

eSports, a rapidly emerging spectator “sport” for professional video game players, is approaching levels akin to major televised sports events, according to an analysis published by the equities research team at UBS.

"The eSports audience includes some of the hardest to reach and most sought-after demographics for marketers and advertisers, with the share of millennials two to three times higher than any of the Big 4 U.S. sports,” the analysts write, quoting Activision Blizzard CEO Robert Kotick:  “The NBA today has roughly 175 million viewers watching around 2 billion hours total with more than $5 billion in revenues and $1.8  billion of those from media rights. With hundreds of millions of people already watching eSports and playing our games, over the long term our goal is to create opportunities that we believe could be of a similar scale."

While the eSports business model is still in its infancy, the UBS report makes a strong case that its marketplace will scale to accommodate it. With an estimated 380 million viewers this year, UBS projects it will climb to 557 million by 2021.

eSports Ecosystem & Value Chain

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