Facebook and ESL ‘expand’ streaming partnership in 2019 on a non-exclusive basis, following 2018’s problems.
In what seems like yet another demonstration about how Facebook is falling out of favour among large swathes of the online community, ESL and Facebook have agreed a non-exclusive streaming deal.
Though ESL have billed the move as an ‘expansion of their partnership’, the telling thing is the non-exclusive nature of the agreement – last year Facebook had exclusive streaming rights to ESL One and EPL broadcasts in English.
Though non-English streams were allowed on other platforms, including Twitch, the Facebook Gaming platform suffered a string of technical issues and drew significant flak from the CS:GO community.
Addressing this, the companies say they have made “significant updates to the watch experience for esports fans. New updates include, video quality and stability improvements as well as easier ways to discover ESL events.”
According to ESL, Facebook will broadcast both its flagship circuit events, Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) and ESL One, plus the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) Pro League. The agreement, which started with the Regional Qualifiers in CS:GO for the IEM Katowice Minor on 16th January 2019, runs through to December 2019.
Competitions will be streamed globally in English, with ESL Pro League streams also broadcast in Portuguese.
Commenting on the news, Co-CEO of ESL, Ralf Reichert, said:
“ESL brings together a global community of esports fans and aims to deliver amazing esports experiences to audiences around the world, both online and through large scale events,
“ESL will be providing multiple sources in which fans can experience our flagship circuits online — including a return to Facebook Gaming to continue bringing content to its rapidly growing audience.”
While Global Director of Games Partnerships at Facebook, Leo Olebe, added:
“Expanding ESL content to include all global esports competitions is a way for us to satisfy the growing appetite for watching gaming video content on Facebook,
“Providing ESL fans a way to watch esports on multiple platforms is something we know the community cares about, and that’s a big reason why all 2019 content will broadcast anywhere ESL chooses to stream. We’ll continue to listen and act on feedback from gamers as we work together in building the world’s gaming community.”
ESL livestreams are available at fb.gg