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

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

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Activision'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 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

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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.

This.

Remus:
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Denamic:
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.

Aiddon:
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.

SlumlordThanatos:

Denamic:
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.

SlumlordThanatos:

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:
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.

RaikuFA:
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.

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.

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

Note that I said prize money, not salaries.

So how long until there is a super bowl for esports?

Bat Vader:

RaikuFA:
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.

Sorry but no.

The only sport I like is UFC/MMA and I love all kinds of games, I'm not great at them but I dabble in things, so I can understand them to a degree but jeepers is watching some games being streamed is boring as fuck!

I've been getting into twitch lately 'cos I have amazon prime and if me watching a person gives them money and costs me nothing, I'd be an ass not to. Man, there are a lot of tournaments in gaming! Not seen a starcraft one pop up yet but CS and LOL seem to be none stop.

Moba's, I have no clue what is going on. I know that two teams fight to destroy a 2 sets of towers and then some kind of spawner and then some kind of base, using some kind of hero with distinct abilities but other than that I'm totally lost.

I watched CS and was bored, they announcers would get all amped up when something big was happening but to me, it wasn't that impressive, like congrats that you got a triple spray but I've done that...

I've watched street fighter players and again I was bored. I get there is a level of skill that I clearly don't posses and if I understood what was happening, I'd appreciate it more but the real life variant (UFC) is so much more exciting. I'd be more amped for the most boring MMA fight than the most exciting street fighter match.

This is just me though and obviously a lot of people LOVE these streamers and tournaments but I don't think it will catch on like Kotick wants it to 'cos if a gamer isn't into it, I don't think the mainstream will be.

Article header: 'Kotick Says eSports Could be Bigger than NFL and NBA.'

Actual quote:
"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."

I guess it isn't interesting unless you intentionally misrepresent the situation to cater to an audience you know is pre-disposed towards being negative to Kotick? Who needs credibility when you can have cynical internet commenters talk shit about big companies!

I don't claim to be a big fan of esports or even follow particular teams
But I do enjoy it not for the competitiveness, but just to watch players play at a much higher skill level than I ever will
even if that is restricted to highlight reels of overwatch/LoL

also esports and athletic sports are incomparable in almost every aspect
just because in one scenario the player is kicking a ball and in the other the player is clicking the mouse really fast (lol) doesn't mean that esports is worth inherently less to the viewer, even if they have no idea whats going on

Bat Vader:
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.

It's really just because of the name they went with I think. Calling it ESports created that comparison, and personally I understand why people take issue with it. They're clearly not the same thing, but including the word sport invites the idea that these are meant to be seen as comparable. Now I don't have an issue with Esports (I even went to the LOL NA finals at Madison Square Garden last year with my buddy) but I do take issue with people who say Esports are just as much a sport as traditional sports as football, baseball, Olympic sports, etc. Obviously Esports take tons of dedication and skill development, but comparing an Esport player who literally does all his training in a desk chair and doesn't need to consider nutrition or physicality (except maybe to stretch to avoid blood clots) and his "sport" to athletes who spend hours in the gym and lifetimes working at physical skills is just silly in my opinion.

I think they should have just gone with professional gaming or something along those lines. To me, you shouldn't bother with the word "sport" unless there's real physical exertion. I suppose you might say that bowling or curling aren't real sports then, but at least you're still up and mobile in the real world. (And they're just games anyway har har har)

uhh OT: Maybe far far down the line Esports will see some wide-spread acceptance. As of now I think it's really a small subset of much larger groups of players. Plus, I think there's a certain amount of embarrassment associated with it similar to playing hand-helds in public.

Careful now. Get too big and corruption will be a disease to your "sport".

Good luck!

 

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