The expensive future of esports
More sponsors are getting their way into esports each and every day. The teams themselves are getting bigger, with real world sports teams slowly but surely entering the scene. This means that more money is being injected into the esports world, allowing teams to hire better staff, more people working with them and will likely see an overall boost in content worldwide.
This sounds fantastic, but people have been worrying about pay-per-view becoming an issue that esports fans will begin having to deal with in the near future. With arenas the size of olympic stadiums being utilised for teams to duke it out in their preferred game, more money if needed to keep the sport evolving and expanding. Organisers make money from ticket sales, sponsors and adverts, but people watching on twitch can get away with paying nothing.
Traditionally, if someone wants to watch people play sports on television, they’d be required to pay the supplier (such as Sky or NowTV) a fee in order to access certain content – Sports is often covered under its own separate fee, meaning people will have to pay more to enjoy watching their favourite football teams or tennis players. Luckily, esports is currently readily available to everyone; many games allow players to watch their esports tournaments live in the game client, such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. We’ve seen an aspect of paying for premium content with the Viewer pass (Which we explained here), though the core esports games are totally free to watch.
It’s only a matter of time before esports is being aired on television along with Formula One and Rugby, and you can bet that the giant corporations aren’t going to give their service to fans for free. The result may be that they lose thousands of viewers, but having just a fifth of the viewer count would be worth it to them as long as they’re all paying for it.