Overwatch League viewing figures now comparable to major sports in the US

Overwatch League is on target to be one of the biggest leagues in the US - matching the likes of the NBA, NFL and MLB.That is the view of Activision Blizzard Esports strategy and analytics lead Kasra Jafroodi based on the latest viewing figures for OWL.

Just as the OWL has taken its model of city-based teams with home venues from traditional sports to engage fans, they are now using the same metrics traditional sports use to entice broadcasters and advertisers. 

Activision Blizzard have released figures using average minute audience metrics as opposed to unique viewers or peak concurrent viewers more commonly used by esports.OWL is broadcast on a mix of platforms in the US ranging from the Amazon-owned streaming service Twitch to ABC.

According to OWL figures, its 2019 regular season global AMA was 313,000, up 18% year-over-year. In the US it had an AMA of 95,000, which is up 34% year-over-year. More significantly, for the 18-34 demographic in the US, AMA was 55,000, a rise of 11% year-over-year.

This was the figure which captured Jafroodi's excitement in an interview with front office sports, where it was noted that the rise among viewers aged 18-34 was in contrast to the decline experienced by some traditional sports in the US.He said: When you take into consideration that every league is declining in the 18-34 demo - while OWL is up 11% - it wont be long before OWL becomes one of the largest leagues in the US."