Activision CEO Bobby Kotick Says eSports Could be Bigger than NFL and NBA

ffronw

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Activision CEO Bobby Kotick Says eSports Could be Bigger than NFL and NBA

//cdn.themis-media.com/media/global/images/library/deriv/1357/1357031.jpgActivision's CEO sees a bright future for eSports.

Activision has been moving into the eSports arena more and more of late, including its purchase of MLG [http://www.majorleaguegaming.com/] last year. But its CEO sees an even bigger future for eSports, and he's been talking about its potential in the future.

Speaking at Vanity Fair's New Establishment Summit yesterday alongside CBE Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves, Kotick said that he expects that he'll be negotiating broadcast rights for Activision games with US cable networks in the future. Currently, those games are broadcast through Activision's own MLG. Of course, Kotick was willing to have that change. He said,

"The real question though is the way they're watching today is over-the-top, so we have our own channel MLG, which is our broadcast channel for professional eSports. What we view our opportunity set as if Leslie or ESPN wants to pay for the rights, a greater amount, that we can monetize on our own channel, we'll take that."

Kotick went on to say that Activision's reach was so big, that the company is five times the size of streaming giant Netflix, and that this reach means that there is a ton of potential for the future.

"If you think about our players, if you take Call of Duty, we have 40 million monthly active users-these people are spending hours of their day playing a game, an organized competition-that's the same size as the preseason NFL. These leagues like Call of Duty or Overwatch have the potential to be the next NFL or NBA."

eSports may never overtake the major televised sports of our day, but it's certainly poised to continue its growing popularity going forward. With Overwatch and Call of Duty in its pocket, Activision will certainly be a big part of that.

Via AdWeek [http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/500-million-monthly-users-activision-blizzard-ceo-claims-his-company-5-times-bigger-netflix-174145]

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Remus

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Aww Bobby, you're so cute when you're enthusiastic. You still look like an alien though, like a Doctor Who villain wearing a human suit.
 

LTenhet

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Remus said:
Aww Bobby, you're so cute when you're enthusiastic. You still look like an alien though, like a Doctor Who villain wearing a human suit.
I really hope this isn't a new dawn of Kotick talking about things; that last time he was commenting on everything was quite enough.
 

Eclipse Dragon

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Someone call Activision's PR department, Bobby Kotick has escaped from his cage and they need to catch him before he scratches up the furniture they just replaced.
 

Worgen

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Whatever, just wash your hands.
I'm really surprised to see Kotick back considering the last few times he got out he lowered activision's stock price. Whats even weirder is that I think hes right. Sports viewership is going down, but more and more people are playing games. The more people that understand how a game works, the more people will probably be willing to watch someone else play it professionally.
 

SlumlordThanatos

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I see Bobby Kotick's head is still firmly embedded up his ass. Good to see that some things don't change.

As much as I enjoy watching eSports, it's going to take a long time before they're on the same level as two of the biggest spectator sports in the United States, and they might never get to that level. Those 40 million CoD players he's talking about? Only a bare fraction of those would watch professional CoD teams going at it. Granted, even if they regularly get over 1 million viewers per event, that's still a significant number of people, and worth monetizing.

But as big as the NFL or the NBA? No way. Not for years, if not decades.
 

Catnip1024

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While I can see wider appeal of some eSports, I somehow doubt Call of Duty is going to be it. Watching LoL or DoTA has a certain strategy aspect to it, like watching a game of Chess. Watching people with fast trigger reflexes spam at each other is less appealing.

On the other hand, CoD has more opportunities for ad breaks, so I can see that being what they go for first.
 

RaikuFA

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HAHAHAHAHA!!

Exports is nothing but guys clicking a mouse really fast. At least with real sports you have people doing stuff like running and catching. Actual effort. Just clicking a mouse real fast and drinking energy drinks is not a sport.
 

Denamic

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Technically, it already is. NBA and NFL are national and only encompass one sport respectively, while esports covers loads of games and are international. Esports absolutely dwarfs NFL and NBA put together in terms of fans, players, and price money.
 

Aiddon_v1legacy

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Kotick, you're an idiot. Not just any idiot, you're a fucking gigantic, willfully ignorant idiot who clearly lives on a diet of paint chips and huffing glue. Esports aren't within DECADES of being taken seriously as competitive viewing.
 

SlumlordThanatos

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Denamic said:
Technically, it already is. NBA and NFL are national and only encompass one sport respectively, while esports covers loads of games and are international. Esports absolutely dwarfs NFL and NBA put together in terms of fans, players, and price money.
Source?

I mean, with NFL and NBA players getting paid literally millions of dollars each, this statement seems a little...off.
 
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Aiddon said:
Kotick, you're an idiot. Not just any idiot, you're a fucking gigantic, willfully ignorant idiot who clearly lives on a diet of paint chips and huffing glue. Esports aren't within DECADES of being taken seriously as competitive viewing.
now I don't agree with him, but uh...where do you live? have you been outside recently? Counter strike alone has money being *thrown* at it by the truckload, multiple times I've gone to BWW and they have advertisements on all the tables for competitive leagues/matches coming up to watch. I don't really watch esports, but I wouldn't knock it "DECADES" away when people are investing huge in it left and right.
 

Trucken

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SlumlordThanatos said:
Denamic said:
Technically, it already is. NBA and NFL are national and only encompass one sport respectively, while esports covers loads of games and are international. Esports absolutely dwarfs NFL and NBA put together in terms of fans, players, and price money.
Source?

I mean, with NFL and NBA players getting paid literally millions of dollars each, this statement seems a little...off.
Yeah, it can't be possible for professional gamers to get the kind of money the NFL and NBA players get. The salary cap for this NFL season is set at $155.27 million. Take that times 32 teams and you get $4.96 BILLIONS. Combine that with the NBA's salary cap and we end up with nearly $7.8 billions per year with roughly 2200 players getting a piece of the pie. Now I have no idea how much the professional gamers make, but I doubt it's that much. Plus there are a lot more professional gamers than players in the NBA and NFL, meaning there are a lot more people sharing the total earnings.

Also, I can't for a minute believe that e-sports got the same amount of viewers as say the NFL. In 2014 the regular season averaged 17.6 million viewers per game in the US alone. Times 256 games and we got 4.5 billion viewers, and that's not counting the playoffs or even the Super Bowl.
 

Avnger

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SlumlordThanatos said:
Source?

I mean, with NFL and NBA players getting paid literally millions of dollars each, this statement seems a little...off.
A little off is being too polite :p

Denamic said:
Technically, it already is. NBA and NFL are national and only encompass one sport respectively, while esports covers loads of games and are international. Esports absolutely dwarfs NFL and NBA put together in terms of fans, players, and price money.
I'll bite.

The NFL brought in a revenue of $13 Billion in 2015 with an average salary of $1.93 Million with 1696 players.
The NBA brought in a revenue of $5.2 Billion in 2015 with an average salary of $5.3 Million with at least 430 players guaranteed.
The MLB brought in a revenue of $9.5 Billion in 2015 with an average salary of $2.7 Million with 1200 players.

Now please tell us again how there is more money involved in eSports?

edit: Source is http://www.statisticbrain.com/professional-sports-average-salary-revenue-salary-cap/ for revenue and salaries. Used the leagues' wikipedia pages for # of teams * # of players per team for player totals.
 

Bat Vader

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RaikuFA said:
HAHAHAHAHA!!

Exports is nothing but guys clicking a mouse really fast. At least with real sports you have people doing stuff like running and catching. Actual effort. Just clicking a mouse real fast and drinking energy drinks is not a sport.
It's more than that though. People that compete in ESports have to pretty much train daily at the game(s) they want to stay competitive in. It does take a real amount of effort to be good enough to compete.
 

Bat Vader

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I don't get why people feel the need to compare ESport and Athletic Sports all the time. Both are good in their own ways.
 

RaikuFA

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Bat Vader said:
RaikuFA said:
HAHAHAHAHA!!

Exports is nothing but guys clicking a mouse really fast. At least with real sports you have people doing stuff like running and catching. Actual effort. Just clicking a mouse real fast and drinking energy drinks is not a sport.
It's more than that though. People that compete in ESports have to pretty much train daily at the game(s) they want to stay competitive in. It does take a real amount of effort to be good enough to compete.
Maybe in games that take effort but there's no skill needed in MOBA's.