The past decade has led to esports really growing a name for itself as the biggest events in the world have started to garner similar numbers to some of the biggest sporting events in the world and even surpassing the numbers in many instances – and this has come as a change in attitudes toward gaming as a whole have led to a number of services growing in recent years with the likes of online casinos on mobile being amongst the biggest as players take advantage of unique features like US casinos for UK players – but will esports change the sports entertainment industry, or is it just a short term adjustment?
The big shift that will be seen has already started to happen as some major sporting is becoming more represented online – things like the Premier League having some games move over to Amazon Prime signals a change as it could lead many others to follow, with esports being largely represented on livestreaming platforms such as Twitch, other major sporting may start to follow as the benefits of doing so have become so widely seen, particularly throughout this past year where offline events had to take place without fans in attendance, and not all viewing options are available due to different location based services or costs.
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This remains one of the big challenges to overcome too – if sports entertainment is to make a shift to be primarily online, the rising costs of subscribing to multiple could also put people off making the change – this has certainly been a benefit for esports as all broadcast events are free, but with the big broadcasting deals in traditional sporting the options are certainly different – the previous example of the Premier League is currently split amongst Sky Sports, BT Sport, and Prime, and with each having their own cost, alongside the subscription costs to other popular streaming services, it’s a far cry from the free alternative.
Any change will be slow going, the big broadcasting deals In major sporting aren’t set to expire for another few years yet, and many will be evaluating where the biggest changes will take place, and it’s unlikely that any will move to a free service like Twitch because of the big deals that exist in broadcasting, but the successes of esports have already had an impact on the entertainment industry so change is surely coming, and with the big franchises moving into esports themselves and introducing more familiarity through titles like FIFA, the audience is quickly changing too – it’s not just the previously assumed young teen males that make up the esports viewership now, as a changing demographic are quickly moving into the space.