Despite scrapping esports program ‘Screenplay’ in 2018, Channel 7 is inking a new deal with esports platform, Letsplay.live.
Set to air a year’s worth of content, the partnership between Channel 7 and Letsplay.live (LPL) became official on March 12, airing the first capsule of LPL esports content. The partnership is to continue for another 7 weeks, live streaming a Rainbow Six: Siege tournament.
Letsplay.Live is an online esports platform that provides gamers with the ability to compete against one another in tournaments and leagues. Additionally, the platform also produces live broadcasts and gaming-related content.
The esports culture has been seeping its way into Australia, with more events being added to the calendar each year. In 2019, the Intel Extreme Masters esports event was held in Sydney and captured 13.5 million unique viewers. Going back a year further, consumer spending on ‘interactive games’ in 2018 totalled $4 billion in Australia alone.
The upcoming partnership with the Australian channel marks the second time that the LPL has reached out to television broadcasters. At the end of 2019, the LPL aired the Rocket League Oceanic Championship on 7mate, and with results proving to be successful, the gaming platform is ready to ‘run it back’ with Channel 7.
“LPL is extremely excited to see esports elevated this year through televised broadcasts in Australia. By offering Australian esports fans more content to watch on their preferred platform with support from Seven Network, we can begin to promote broadcast talent and players within the mainstream.” – Duane Mutu, Founder & Managing Director of LetsPlay.Live
LPL assured fans that Rainbow Six: Siege is just the beginning of much more to come, revealing that they plan to broadcast titles Dota 2 and Rocket League later this year.
The market for esports has been growing exponentially in recent years with the introduction of streaming. As of 2018, the esports viewership sat at 215 million occasional viewers and 165 million enthusiasts. Newzoo predicts that by 2021, viewership will climb to a total of 557 million. By partnering up with a major network, LPL may be able to help the gaming community not only reach that goal, but potentially surpass it.
While the prize pool for the current competition sits at $5,000, a larger audience may cause a greater influx of revenue, in turn leading to larger prize pools.
The Rainbow Six: Siege tournament is available to broadcast on 7mate every Thursday at 12am.
Subscribe to FIB’s Weekly Alchemy Report for your weekly dose of music, fashion and pop culture news!