NBC Sports has picked up the United States broadcasting rights to the English Premier League’s new competitive gaming tournament, the ePremier League Invitational Tournament.
The week-long EA Sports FIFA 20 Tournament includes representatives from all Premier League clubs. Among the players scheduled to compete are Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Todd Cantwell (Norwich City), Ryan Fredericks (West Ham United), Diogo Jota (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), and Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace).
The 20-team single-elimination tournament begins on April 21, with all matches streamed live on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. The semifinals and final will air on on cable network NBCSN on April 26 at 10am ET.
NBC is the Premier League’s longstanding broadcast partner in the US. The network has also helped the league launch the ePremier League USA esports property.
All matches will also be streamed on the Premier League’s site and social channels, as well as Sky Sports’ Twitch and YouTube pages. The semi-finals and finals will also air on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League in the United Kingdom. Streaming service DAZN will also broadcast the event in Japan, Canada and Spain.
The prize fund is being donated to the #PlayersTogether initiative, which was created by Premier League players as a collective way of generating funds for the United Kingdom’s National Health Service.
The Premier League joins a litany of other sports properties in creating an esports event, involving athletes from their respective sports, professional gamers, or celebrities, to help fill the competition void during the ongoing sports industry hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Among them are Nascar, Major League Soccer, Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, LaLiga, Formula 1, Monumental Sports & Entertainment, IndyCar, and Major League Rugby, among others.