Disney to air Overwatch League on ABC, cable stations

Olivia Richman • February 8, 11:36

As the Overwatch League expands, so too do the ways in which fans can watch the games.

Blizzard has confirmed that Season 2 will feature matches broadcast on ABC, ESPN2, and Disney XD.

Disney XD will be hosting the majority of the league’s cable television appearances. According to Blizzard’s season schedule, the network will air three matches each weekend starting February 14. The final Thursday match will be shown on Disney XD at 8:30 PM PST, and then Sunday’s two opening matches will air at noon and 1:30 PM PST.

The long-awaited February 14 rematch between grand finals winner London Spitfire and rival Philadelphia Fusion will be the first Season 2 match aired on TV this year.

Full replays of every game will be available on the ESPN app in addition to on Twitch.

Overwatch League’s semifinals and finals for Stages 1 and 2 will air on ABC, followed by ESPN2 broadcasting the Stage 3 finals.

The Overwatch League had a similar broadcast schedule last year. But the league isn’t the first esport to be shown live on cable. Disney XD made headlines in 2017 when they aired Evo’s Super Smash Bros. Wii U finals. They even supplied their own commentators for the channel’s stream.

“Gaming is a lifestyle for our audience,” Disney XD vice president of programming Marc Buhaj said.

ESPN2 aired the finals of Evo’s Street Fighter V tournament that same weekend. The channel had also hosted the Street Fighter V finals during Evo 2016 as the conclusion of a day-long esports marathon, which included highlights from Heroes of the Storm and Madden NFL 16.

As mainstream media become more accepting of esports, the industry has only continued to flourish. Big name sponsorships and features in documentaries have helped esports teams reach new audiences.

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