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ESL extends streaming rights deal with Facebook

Melany M. February 19, 2019

Esports tournament organizer ESL is extending its content streaming deal with Facebook through 2019.

Fans around the world will be able to tune in to Facebook in order to watch the Intel Extreme Masters, ESL One, and CS:GO Pro League on Facebook’s gaming platform. The distribution began on January 16 with the regional qualifiers for the IEM Katowice CS:GO minors.

At that time, ESL announced an exclusive deal with Facebook as a broadcast partner for the ESL One and ESL Pro League. The two companies have decided to expand the deal on a non-exclusive basis for the rest of 2019.

“ESL will provide multiple sources in which fans can experience our iconic circuits online, including the return to Facebook Gaming to continue bringing content to a rapidly growing audience,” said ESL CEO Ralf Reichert.

The ESL Pro League’s new format will have a dual-language broadcast in English and Portuguese.

“Providing ESL fans with a way to see esports on multiple platforms is something we know that the community cares about, and that's an important reason why all the 2019 content will be transmitted to any place that ESL chooses to transmit,” said Leo Olebe, director of global games partnerships at Facebook.

In 2018, ESL broadcasts on Facebook drew criticism from fans regarding stream quality and ease of use. Facebook Gaming has stated its commitment to providing fans with a positive streaming experience, and the ability for ESL to simultaneously broadcast some events elsewhere will likely ease the burden on Facebook to provide an immediate experience up to par with Twitch or YouTube.

The ESL Pro League begins April 12.

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