In recent years, electronic sports, or E-Sports, have rapidly gained popularity and have become a prominent part of the broadcast industry. E-Sports are competitive video games played by professional gamers, and their rise to prominence has been a remarkable phenomenon.
According to a report by Newzoo, a market research firm, the global e-sports market was valued at $1.1 billion in 2020, with a projected growth rate of 14% in 2021. Furthermore, the firm predicts that the e-sports industry will continue to grow and could reach a value of $3 billion by 2025.
One of the significant factors contributing to the financial success of e-sports is the increasing number of viewers. In 2020, the e-sports audience was estimated to be 495 million, and this number is projected to increase to 646 million by 2023. These viewers watch e-sports events online through platforms such as Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook, and they also attend live events in person.
An increase in the number of sponsors and advertisers has become another important factor driving the financial growth of e-sports. Brands such as Coca-Cola, Samsung, and Red Bull have all invested in e-sports sponsorships, recognizing the potential of this industry to reach younger audiences. Additionally, traditional sports teams and organizations, such as the NBA and NFL, have also entered the e-sports market by creating their teams and investing in existing teams.
The broadcast and ProAV industries have also recognized the potential of e-sports and have invested in creating e-sports content. Major broadcasters such as ESPN, BBC, and Sky Sports have all begun to cover e-sports events, and some have even created dedicated e-sports channels. Moreover, many broadcasters have started to include e-sports in their sports programming, recognizing the growing overlap between traditional sports and e-sports.
E-Sports have now begun the takeover of High School and College campuses. As of 2018 42% of NFHS-accredited High Schools have E-Sports teams and many of the students playing are engaging in a team sport for the first time in their lives. NACE (National Association of Collegiate E-Sports) currently boasts 240 +members schools, 5000+ student-athletes, and 16 million in scholarships.
The rise of E-Sports in the broadcast industry has been significant financially, with the industry projected to grow exponentially in the coming years. The increasing number of viewers, sponsors, and advertisers, as well as the recognition from traditional sports teams and broadcasters, are all factors contributing to the success of e-sports. It is clear that e-sports are no longer a niche market, and they have become a prominent part of the entertainment industry.