eSports to break the billion-dollar barrier in 2020 | Media Analysis | Business
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The rise of eSports has seen industry revenues are on track to exceed $900 million in 2019 year and poised to break the billion-dollar mark in 2020, according to a new industry report from Futuresource Consulting.
GINX esport 26Feb2019
The new report, The Esports Opportunity for Broadcast, Pro AV & IT Industries, states that eSports is starting to enter the mainstream riding a rising wave of consumer awareness, as celebrities and traditional sports teams get involved, household brand names take a piece of the sponsorship pie, and the likes of Turner, BBC and Sky invest in content acquisition and production.

The analyst calculates that eSports currently caters for a global audience of approximately 410 million fans — primarily males between the age of 16 to 35 years old — and that events such as Dota 2 are now enjoying viewing figures comparable to major conventional sporting events.

Traditionally, the largest eSports audience has been based in Asia, with hotbeds of esports interest existing in South Korea and China. However, Futuresource says that high levels of growth have been tracked in regions such as North America and Europe, which due to high levels of consumer spending power, have seen significant increases in e-sports revenue.

eSports video coverage uses traditional workflows and techniques that are similar to broadcast coverage of a major concert or sporting event and Futuresource believes that spend per event on pro video and AV equipment can reach $1 million for the largest arena-based events and slide down to as little as a few thousand at the lower end. Futuresource research indicates an approximate 50/50 split between pro video and AV equipment, with the large LED screens used at events being the single largest equipment outlay.

“Securing exclusivity of major eSports tournaments will become increasingly strategically important for both traditional sports broadcasters and established esports platforms such as Amazon-owned Twitch,” said Adam Cox, senior analyst, imaging and professional pro video at Futuresource Consulting.

“As organisers seek to attract older demographics and more females to the sector, we expect global audiences to almost double by 2023. This will result from a rise in popularity in emerging regions, as well as wider appeal in established markets. With rumours in the IOC suggesting that esports could be an official Olympic sport as early as 2024, the social acceptance and resulting industry returns are very much heading in the right direction. It’s a great time to be involved in esports, with plenty of opportunities making themselves known across a range of tech and creative industries.”