eSports is Coming to Your Television

Are you ready to watch competitive gaming in the comfort of your living room? It’s not as exciting as watching your buddies try and fail to beat your high score on the arcade machines in your hangout space, but it’s entertaining all the same.

Of course, maybe you already watch competitive gaming by firing up the live stream channel Twitch. But if you’d rather just click on the remote and easily tune to a channel through your cable provider, get ready, because TBS will soon be broadcasting competitive gaming live. Two times a year, TBS will run a 6-week league, with semifinals and a championship game – 10 total weeks of programming. The name of the program is eLeague.

What Will It Look Like?

When sports first began to be broadcast on major channels, the TV timeout was added to games. Though some worried it would break up the flow of the game, professional sports have adjusted and it’s no longer questioned. It allows advertisements that contribute to revenue and make sports bigger and better than ever, so the complaints have stopped.

Physical sports are one thing, but how will competitive video gaming translate to television? It’s not likely that pro-gamers are going to want to hit pause, then have to continue their game precisely where they left off. That may be possible in basketball, but it’s most likely not going to be an option when it comes to video games.

TBS is Ready

Contrary to what you may think, TBS isn’t the first to try their hand at broadcasting competitive gaming. DirecTV tried it in 2005, with their “Championship Gaming” series. There were many factors working against DirecTV, mainly the fact that you could only watch if you were subscribed to DirecTV. Also, the company attempted to alter gameplay to fit a television broadcast, and that didn’t go over well with many viewers or gamers.

TBS seems to be learning from the past mistakes of others. In recognition that eSports started as a digital medium, they are going to release digital live content throughout each week of the program, building up to a final match airing on TBS on Friday night. They don’t plan on altering the play to insert advertisements, but investigate new techniques to achieve the same results.

Watch TBS this spring to see the next attempt at making eSports a television-based success.