Activision Blizzard in talks with OWL over Overwatch TV deal - report
Activision Blizzard Esports is in talks to bring the Overwatch League back to cable television, The Esports Observer reported Thursday.
The OWL, whose deal with ESPN and ABC ended after last season, currently has an exclusive digital streaming rights agreement with YouTube.
The need for more live programming amid the global sports shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic could hasten the OWL's return to TV.
NBC Sports Group has expressed an interest, according to the report.
Activision Blizzard and NBC Sports declined to comment to The Esports Observer.
The Overwatch League moved to a global homestand model this year for Season 3 after the first two seasons were contested exclusively in the United States, primarily in Los Angeles.
However, the league canceled all scheduled matches in China and South Korea after the initial coronavirus outbreak in Asia. That was followed by canceling all homestands through April and moving to an online format.
Following an unscheduled two-week hiatus, play resumed March 28. On Tuesday, the OWL announced that all remaining 2020 homestands have been canceled, with the remainder of the season to be contested online.
The Overwatch League will play the remainder of its 2020 regular season via online matches due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the esports league announced.
Matches are planned to run through August, with the league announcing that it will release future matches as soon as they are available.
The Overwatch League has yet to rule out returning to live competition for its playoffs and Grand Finals, which begin in the fall.
"While we are collectively facing an incredibly challenging time, we hope to get back to live events before the 2020 season concludes, and we are working hand-in-hand with all our teams to make this happen as soon as it's safe and logistically feasible," the Overwatch League said in a statement.
The league postponed February and March matches slated to take place in South Korea and China due to the coronavirus. It returned to online competition last weekend.
Field Level Media