eSports broadcasting – a difficult balance to strike


eSports broadcasting – a difficult balance to strike

As the eSports juggernaut continues to gather momentum during 2017, one question that will be on the minds of both rights holders and broadcasters is how best to get eSports content out to the tens of millions of fans tuning in. Indeed, this question highlights a commercial conundrum at the heart of eSports: whether to adopt a rigid, exclusive licensing model (which has reaped huge revenues for traditional sports), but at the risk of alienating fans; or whether to stick to a more open model, with potentially lower rights fees.

This article by Will Deller and George Khouri compares and contrasts the traditional sports and eSports broadcasting environments, discussing some of the commercial and legal issues involved in what will be a crucial decision for stakeholders within the eSports industry.


Will is an associate in our Media, Entertainment and Sports Group, based in London. Will's sports practice is focused on commercial/contractual matters, though he also has experience in advising on league structuring, rule drafting/interpretation and other regulatory issues. On the commercial side, he routinely advises on sponsorship and media rights, but in addition he advises clients on a range of other areas of law, including gambling regulation, advertising and consumer law. In his time at Bird & Bird, Will has gained experience in working across a number of different sports, and in recent years he has developed a particular focus on esports, where he has advised industry stakeholders on setting up new esports leagues, sponsorship, player contracts and a variety of other issues.

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