THE BBC CONTINUES TO SUPPORT ESPORTS WITH A LIVE FIFA 21 GLOBAL SERIES BROADCAST
The BBC is really expanding its horizons, as the channel has partnered with EA to air live footage of the FIFA 21 Global Series esports competition. We can watch live the European regional qualifiers and the series’ playoffs via the BBC. If you miss it, don’t worry, we can watch all the matches on BBC iPlayer and the BBC sports app.
BBC iPlayer offers fantastic live coverage from each match with up to eight hours of streaming a day so that we can keep ourselves entertained. Also, each match is being made accessible for 30 days after each broadcast to ensure that nothing is missed by fans.
The schedule is as follows for the upcoming FIFA 21 European Regional Qualifiers and Playoffs:
- The European Regional Qualifier 4: March 20th- 21st
- The European Regional Qualifier 5: April 24th- 25th
- European Playoffs: TBC
“We see FIFA competitive gaming as an extension of football fandom, and BBC is the ideal partner as it will allow millions of UK fans the opportunity to watch one the most popular games played at the highest level.”Brent Koning, EA SPORTS FIFA Competitive Gaming Commissioner
This new partnership provides yet another milestone for the BBC. But this is not the first time that the BBC has diversified to reach a wider audience. In November 2020, they collaborated with Blast, the tournament organiser, to broadcast three counter-strike events from the 2020 season. This was equivalent to more than 120 hours of iPlayer content for their fans. The BBC followed with coverage of the Rocket League European Spring Series and the Championship of the UK League of Legends.
New content options for a wider audience
What made the BBC stream more content about esports? Well, estimates have been made that there are over 2.8 billion gamers worldwide. Market research firm Newzoo predicts that in 2023 there will be nearly 300 million frequent viewers of esports worldwide. And 351 million people have become daily viewers. The BBC has therefore begun to note how large the gaming industry is and is gradually incorporating more gaming content into their broadcasts.
Can we expect that more brands will follow in the footsteps of the BBC? This may be the case, as the League of Legends European Championship has now announced a deal with KitKat and RedBull for its 2021 season.
However, traditional esports community streaming sites to watch esports like Twitch will continue as a first stop. Competitive gaming on popular broadcasters like the BBC could be something we’re going to see a lot more in the future.