Especially in the past few years, eSport has made a big leap forward and has silenced some previous critics in the process. While there was heated discussion in Germany in 2002 about indexing the tactical shooter Counter-Strike, the private TV broadcaster Pro 7 broadcast one for the first time on November 19, 2017, with the final of the Intel Extreme Masters from Oakland / USA Encounter in the popular tactical shooter live on TV. And that on a Sunday evening, following the big feature film highlight, at 11:15 p.m., which was tantamount to a premiere on the German TV landscape. However, eSport has long since ceased to be a marginal phenomenon; fans and those interested can find out more about eSport and developments there with the help of classic television programs. So far, the offer does not even come close to what is available on the video or streaming platforms available on the Internet, such as twitch and YouTube, but people who may have only had a poor Internet connection or just generally have a basic relationship also have it want to find out more about eSport, at least another way to find out about developments in eSport. In addition, broadcasting events or broadcasting highlight magazines can also attract new fans, who then often try their hand at eSport or at least regularly watch the encounters and events there on television. And there are now quite a number of them that you can watch on free-to-air television and of which we would like to give you a brief overview below.
Up to now, only a few people became aware of electronic sport through the occasional broadcast of eSport documentaries, but in the future it will be the highlight programs broadcast on TV, of which two now exist in this country, that are more and more responsible for this.
The eSport highlight magazine kicked off in August 2017 by the special interest broadcaster ProSieben Maxx with the broadcast of the professional gaming magazine ran eSport. Because there fans and interested parties get a compact overview every week of the latest developments in the most popular eSports disciplines, such as Counter-Strike, League of Legends, Dota2, Fifa and other games. The moderators go into the recent tournaments in the most popular eSports titles as well as many developments in the area of eSports that are currently occupying the players.
And every now and then you dedicate yourself to a few games that are otherwise rarely reported in eSport and try to bring them closer to the viewers as well.
Broadcast date: Weekly in the night from Wednesday to Thursday from 11:55 p.m.
Accessible online at https://www.ran.de/esports/video
It was actually only a matter of time before other TV stations became aware of the success of ran eSport and the ever increasing popularity of eSports in general. But that it would be ARD of all places was a bit of a surprise. Initially launched as a special program for Gamescom in August 2018, ARD now seems to want to upgrade this show and perhaps even broadcast it regularly in the long term. This year, one episode of the eSportschau was broadcast at the end of May and one at the beginning of July, which could indicate that the ARD is initially planning to broadcast one per month. As soon as there are further details to be announced, we will of course keep you up to date.
Broadcast date: So far only irregularly
Accessible online at https://www.sportschau.de/weiter/esport/index.html
Even before ProSieben Maxx began broadcasting the gaming magazine ran eSports in August 2017, there had already been isolated broadcasts of eSport events on TV. In particular, the sports channel Sport1 played a pioneering role, which in 2017 for the first time secured the rights to broadcast the individual final of the Virtual Bundesliga in the soccer simulation Fifa 17, which was broadcast for the first time on the pay-TV channel Sky in 2016 . But outside of pay TV, it was Sport1 that brought eSports onto television for the first time in this country.
Since the pay-TV broadcaster Sky first broadcast the individual finals of the Virtual Bundesliga in the soccer simulation Fifa in 2016, this event has been a permanent fixture in the annual TV calendar of every eSports fan. Because this is ultimately about which Fifa player can be celebrated as the official German champion in the end.
However, this year ProSieben Maxx underscored its own ambitions to become one of the most relevant eSport broadcasters in Germany in the future and grabbed the rights to broadcast the individual final of the Virtual Bundesliga from Sport1. This was therefore transferred to ProSieben Maxx for the first time in June of this year, where it is highly likely that this will also be seen in the years to come.
In addition, ProSieben Maxx, where eSport is broadcast under the ran eSports brand, has also secured the rights to broadcast another official competition, which has also been held in Fifa since 2019.
With the Virtual Bundesliga Club Championship, a league in the soccer simulation Fifa has existed for the first time since 2019, in which the 36 teams of the 1. and 2. Bundesliga soccer team to be able to participate with its own team of players. This was done in the first season of the VBL Club Championship, which took place between January 16. and the 13.03.2019 was played, then also 22 of the 36 professional clubs, whose teams fought a bitter fight for the German championship until the end.
In the end, the SV Werder Bremen players were ahead of the game and were celebrated by the fans of the green and white as the first German Fifa Club Champion.
The second season of the VBL Club Championship, which will then be played in Fifa20, is likely to start, like the premiere season, in January of the coming year and, like this year, there will be one match per week at prime time at 8:15 p.m., can be seen on ProSieben Maxx.
The fans of the soccer simulation Fifa, in particular, have not missed out in recent years when it comes to live broadcasts that are broadcast on television. This includes and includes the most important events that are held as part of the EA Sports FIFA Global Series, as well as the finals of the Fifa eClub World Cup and the Fifa eWorld Cup every year.
This year, for the first time, the new eNations Cup for national teams was added, which in all likelihood should also be a permanent fixture on the calendar of every FIFA year in the coming years.
But this season the fans of the soccer simulation from EA Sports had to get used to a little, as Sport1 has outsourced the broadcasts of the most important tournaments to its own pay-TV channel and ProSieben Maxx only broadcasts a few selected tournaments. After all, the majority of these tournaments also run on EA Sports' YouTube and twitch channels, so fans do not necessarily have to take out a subscription to enjoy these tournaments.
Although ProSieben first showed an encounter in the tactical shooter Counter-Strike live and in full length in November 2017 and Sport1 had already tried to broadcast the final of the League of Legends World Cup, but more than these isolated broadcasts so far, at least, not enough. On the other hand, eSport, in its full glory, can be found more and more frequently on pay TV and there is a lot more going on than just Fifa, which you otherwise only hear about on television via the gaming magazine ran eSports or via the Internet.
In principle, it was the pay TV broadcaster Sky in 2016, for which the broadcast of the individual finals of the Virtual Bundesliga 2016 was only a one-time affair. And so eSport is only slowly gaining momentum in pay TV in this country, but it is increasing more and more.
Started in 2013, back then under the name Ginx TV, the station became Ginx eSport TV over time. The British broadcaster, which is available in Germany as a package from Unitymedia, is primarily dedicated to the topics of video games and video game culture. But eSport also has its permanent place in the station's program and broadcasts of large ESL events are an integral part of the 24/7 program of the station. In addition, Ginx eSports TV gives players around the clock tips, tricks and impressions on current games from the world of eSports, as well as current single-player games.
However, the channel is only worthwhile for people who speak English, as all program content on Ginx eSports TV is broadcast in this language.
At the end of 2018, the rumor first circulated that the TV broadcaster Sport1 was planning its own eSports. But only a few would have dared to believe that this would start on January 24th, 2019. Today, however, the first German-speaking 24/7 eSports channel is already a reality, so that eSport fans in this country no longer have to resort to alternatives from other countries.
Since then, the station called eSport 1 has been supplying German eSports fans with several hours of live broadcasts, including the games Fifa, Counter-Strike, League of Legends, Dota2 and Overwatch, which are among the most important in eSport. But other games are also reported on the station and of course a highlight show should not be missing, which is broadcast weekly on eSport1 and in which all developments are processed and analyzed. Almost like on a real sports channel, with the exception that everything here revolves around eSports.
Since the launch of the sports streaming service DAZN in August 2016, it has been competing with the top dog Sky pay TV in matters of sports rights.
The streaming provider, which is operated by the British Perform Group, achieved an unexpected success in 2016 with the acquisition of the transmission rights to the games from the English Premier League in this country. Even if this right-wing league will switch to the pay-TV competitor Sky again from the coming season, DAZN will still be able to offer its subscribers an unbeatable offer at a price of just 9.99 euros per month.
Because among other things, the streaming provider will not only show a large part of the matches from the UEFA Champions League in this country in the coming season, but also all the games from the UEFA Europa League, as well as the national leagues from Italy, Spain, Japan, China or also the USA. The streaming service is not just for football fans, but also for fans of motorsport, MMA, basketball, ice hockey, football, tennis, baseball, boxing and, more recently, fans of eSports.
First, DAZN tried for the first time with the UEFA eChampions League, which took place as part of the finals of the UEFA Champions League, at the transmission of an eSports event. A short time later, DAZN followed suit and broadcast the quarter-finals, the semi-finals and the finals of ESL One Cologne in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
And since the streaming provider has already proven in other sports in the past that you are able to significantly expand your own offer as a result of great fan interest, you can be very excited about what the future will bring in terms of eSport on DAZN.
At least it seems, eSport has arrived on German television and is being seen there more and more often.
On the one hand, it is a shame that the initial efforts of ProSieben or Sport1 to bring TV viewers closer to games like Counter-Strike or League of Legends have so far been less successful, but perhaps the time is simply not yet ripe for this.
On the other hand, however, ProSieben Maxx has been broadcasting the professional gaming magazine ran eSports since August 2017, apparently quite successfully, and with the ARD eSports show, another, very similar format seems to be in the starting blocks, which certainly has potential to bring the topic of eSports closer to even more viewers.
Another big step was the broadcast of the game days of the Virtual Bundesliga Club Championship in Fifa19 on ProSieben Maxx, where a game was broadcast live every week at prime time at 8:15 p.m.
These broadcasts are aimed primarily at fans of the soccer simulation Fifa, as well as fans of real soccer, but especially among these there are certainly a lot that have never heard of eSport before and only through the VBL Club Championship or the eSport commitments of the participating clubs have become aware of this.
In contrast, for fans of other games, with the exception of ran eSport, TV has so far been rather meager, which is why the only alternative for them is one of the available pay-TV offers, of which eSport1 currently appears to be the most promising, is simply there it is the first and so far only 24/7 eSports channel in this country.
However, the DAZN streaming service, which recently broadcast its first two eSports events in Fifa and Counter Strike, should also be on the list. Because the operator of the streaming service has already proven in other sports what you are capable of if you want to have the rights to something.
So the beginning has been made for eSport on TV, but it will probably take some time before people in this country also accept it on TV, as is already the case with traditional sports.
And then it can also happen that the broadcast of the finals of a World Cup in League of Legends, as well as the finals of a soccer World Cup, will at some point become an indispensable part of television.