Digital advertising and sponsorship of esports -- team video gaming -- is a growing part of many sports TV networks' efforts. It is set to rise by 25%, according to eMarketer, increasing to $178.1 million this year.
The sport is expected to grow 20% next year to $213.8 million.
Viewing of events -- such as Evolution Championship Series, League of Legends Championship Series, and Overwatch League -- on digital platforms is estimated to rise to 30.3 million this year, and to 46.2 million in 2023.
Viewers of esports are projected to represent 11% of internet users this year, growing to 15.5% by 2023. Internet users here are defined as those of any age who watch at least once a month.
Digital platforms airing esports include Twitch, which began focusing on live digital video gaming, YouTube, and Major League Gaming, among others..
On TV, TBS has had programming such as “ELeague,” as well as “Rocket League.” Events also air online. Individual TV shows have pulled in anywhere from 350,000 to 400,000 total viewers, with about half of those numbers coming from 18-49 viewers.
Other networks airing video gaming competitions have included ESPN, which aired “Heroes of the Dorm,” CW (“Madden Challenge”), DisneyXD (“Nintendo World Championship) and NFL Network (“Madden Challenge”).