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We’re nowhere near April Fools Day just yet, so SuperSport’s latest press release is definitely not a joke. The Naspers-owned company has today announced that it will be airing eSports alongside its football, rugby and cricket packages, beginning this week.
And nope, you did not read that incorrectly.
“Local research indicates that eSports will soon become ubiquitous, especially with Generation-Zers who grew up on gaming devices and cellphones,” the company explained in a press release.
This marks a massive turning point for the perception eSports in the country, considering that the company boasts broadcast rights to a vast selection of sport, from the upcoming ICC World T20 Championship, to the Barclays Premier League. According to Naspers, DStv boasts a user base of around 5.4-million in South Africa.
Dubbed the “next frontier in international sport” by the company, SuperSport will show highlights of the IEM World Championship that took place in Katowice, Poland from 2-6 March. The tournament saw around 1.6-million concurrent viewers in 2015, with over 100 000 attendees on the ground.
It remains to be seen if this is simply a once-off experiment, or if SuperSport will consider broadcasting other major eSports events, including the likes of The International or the local Telkom DGL Masters, in the future.
If you happen to have a DStv Premium subscription, you can catch the broadcasts in the below time slots, between 8-23 March. If you’re kicking it old school with a strong internet connection, you can catch all the highlights from the tournament here.
Feature image: Piotr Drabik via Flickr