Facebook seals exclusive streaming deal with ESL

Esports event operator ESL has agreed a new partnership with Facebook that will make the social media platform the exclusive broadcast partner for its two main competitions.

The CS:GO Pro League and ESL One circuit, with full English and Portuguese coverage, will be available exclusively on the Facebook platform and through embedded streams on the respective event websites.

Terms of the deals for the competitions, which were previously streamed exclusively by video-sharing platform YouTube, were not disclosed, but the Variety website said the agreement will run for four seasons of the Pro League through December 2019.

Official tournament broadcasts will air in both English and Portuguese, with a variety of other language options available. The agreement will start with Dota 2 at ESL One Genting 2018 from January 23-28 and CS:GO Pro League Season 7 on February 13. On top of tournament live streams, Facebook Watch will be harnessed to produce additional broadcasts, such as a weekly show for Dota 2.

ESL said in a statement: “Over the last two years, Facebook has been consistently growing its capabilities as a video platform as well as its presence in esports and gaming. Having been a part of this journey with them, we’re excited to now be at a stage where we can take the next step towards realising our shared ambition to grow the overall esports audience and to bring our sports to an even broader group of viewers than ever before.

“While in the past we have mainly shared stories and clips on the platform next to select streams, we are looking forward to providing a much more advanced viewing experience which also connects to the existing Facebook pages of teams, players and talents.”