These days, everyone around the world tunes into a services like Twitch and even the dedicated YouTube Gaming channels to watch coverage of their favorite events. People stream their activities in real-time on many types of video games, including League of Legends, World of Warcraft, and more. UK-based Sky is the next streaming service to jump on board.
Video game tournaments are certainly nothing new, and people from all over the planet compete against one another to prove their abilities on a regular basis. Recently, the ESP Intel World Masters competition hosted several of these tournaments, and Sky's two-hour program broadcasted many of the highlights. The games covered during the program included Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Starcraft II, and League of Legends.
Sky has shown some interest in covering competitive gaming for quite some time now. Last year, a short eSports featurette touched upon some of the aspects of the industry, and Sky recently made remarks about making an eSports betting documentary. With channels like ESPN leading the pack in eSports coverage in the US, there is certainly room for Sky to step up and become the primary provider of such coverage in the UK. A Sky Sports representative noted that while the two-hour highlight show from the ESP Intel World Masters does not signify the channel's commitment to cover eSports in depth, the company is aware of the demand for it.
Perhaps the only thing stopping Sky from becoming the UK's main provider of eSports coverage is the lack of statistics when it comes to viewership in the UK. Even in the US, ESPN reports that viewership of eSports coverage is far less than that of traditional sports, and Sky has yet to replace their more popular programming with coverage of competitive gaming.
Although it is too soon to tell just how involved with eSports Sky will become, there is evidence to suggest that the broadcaster is beginning to understand the public appetite for it. With more and more gamers accessing the web every day, competitive eSports may someday be as popular as other widely-televised sporting events.