With the Super Bowl just a few weeks away, the world of football has some relatively unexpected news. Madden NFL, one of the most popular gaming titles in the world, is going even more mainstream.
ESPN2 and Disney XD will broadcast Madden e-sports tournaments thanks to a new deal inked by EA, Disney, and the NFL.
Madden NFL 18 is one of the top ten best-selling games in the last 12 months, and the franchise has sold well over 100 million copies since its inception in 1988. Thanks to a deal with the NFL, the game is one of the most realistic representations of an actual NFL game, complete with the broadcast commentary.
The top sixteen Madden NFL 18 players in the world will participate in the tournament, which will run from February 2 through April 28. The winner will compete in the Madden Bowl live from the 2018 NFL Draft on ESPN2.
Here’s what Todd Sitrin, SVP and GM of the Competitive Gaming Division at EA, had to say:
Through this collaboration with ESPN and Disney XD, we’ll provide ongoing coverage for fans worldwide across a variety of ESPN and Disney platforms, but also digitally through our own Madden streaming and social channels.
This is yet another example of esports moving into the mainstream. This year marks the first year of the Overwatch city league, which boasts team owners from the world of traditional sports. For example, Robert Kraft, CEO and owner of the New England Patriots, owns the Boston team, and Jeff Wilpon, COO of the New York Mets, owns the New York team.
At the same time, the Madden NFL 18 broadcast should boost ratings on Disney XD, which skews towards teens and preteens.