Blake Broadcasting agrees multi-territory rights deal with ESL and DreamHack

Media company Blake Broadcasting (BBN) has agreed a multi-year deal to broadcast ESL and DreamHack esports tournaments in the United States, Canada and Asia, with the exception of China.

Under the agreement, which runs from March 2020 to July 2023, CBNN, a BBN channel and over-the-top streaming service, will showcase the coverage. It will be the exclusive satellite channel for the ESL CS:GO Pro Tour and Dota 2 competitions across Intel Extreme Masters, ESL One and ESL Pro League, as well as DreamHack Masters and DreamHack Open events.

In addition to live coverage, CBNN’s programming strategy will include primetime repeats plus studio shows featuring highlights, news and interviews. BBN and ESL said the two parties will also bring esports competitions to millions of new homes in the US, Canada, and Asia through local and regional distribution on cable, free-to-air satellite, and OTT.

Bob Blake, chief executive of Blake Broadcasting and a founder of CBNN, claimed that the agreement would make CBNN “the largest television broadcaster of esports outside of China.

Thomas Schmidt, chief commercial officer at ESL, added: “Our agreement with BBN is in line with our ambition to expand our programming to mainstream audiences without compromising our world-class digital coverage for the esports community that we’re committed to serve.”

ESL and DreamHack are owned by Sweden-based media company Modern Times Group (MTG), which recently reshaped the latter company by forming a new entity.

DreamHack Sports Games will focus on creating leagues and broadcasts around games and is to be led by Peter Nørrelund, who has served as DreamHack’s co-chief executive and executive vice-president, head of product development and incubation since May 2018. As part of the restructure, DreamHack has appointed former Team Marketing media rights sales executive Roger Lodewick as co-chief executive.