The Overwatch League made its debut on Disney XD to a sizeable audience.
The OWL was shown on Disney XD for the first time with the quarter-finals of the inaugural season playoffs, with 127,000 viewers tuning in.
The broadcast is the result of a deal between Blizzard and Disney, ESPN and ABC to televise the league, starting with the season one playoffs and running through to the end of Season Two.
The television viewers will undoubtedly be a welcome addition to the Twitch numbers for the league and its partners, after the playoffs kicked off with relatively underwhelming viewership on the streaming platform.
Having opened with numbers as low as 90,000 at times, the playoffs so far don’t seem to have recaptured earlier interest in the league, which launched with a spectacular and unsustainable high but rarely dipped below 100,000 viewers in the earlier stages, before experiencing a gradual decline in average viewership towards the end of the season.
Despite the slight decline in viewership on Twitch, the Overwatch League is still outperforming pre-launch expectations in almost every metric, and a successful launch of the television broadcast is another feather in Blizzard’s cap when it comes to attracting investors and sponsors for future seasons.
Meanwhile, engagement from hardcore fans remains high, with tickets to the grand finals at the Barclays Center in New York sold out and reportedly reselling for as much as 300% of their original sale price.