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The Overwatch League Grand Finals last Sunday drew a total audience delivery (TAD) of 472K viewers in the U.S. across digital and linear platforms, a significant uptick from last year, according to Nielsen data released by the property.
The second annual league championship — won by the San Francisco Shock before 12,000 fans at Wells Fargo Center — aired in the U.S. digitally on Twitch and on TV via ABC. The league said the combined viewership for the U.S. was up 41% from last year, when the event at Barclays Center aired on ESPN and DisneyXD.
The TV-only figure was a 0.2 final rating and 300,000 viewers. The total U.S. TAD figure included 182K viewers in the 18-34 demo, which is up 13% from last year, while the global TAD viewership was 1.12 million, up 16% from ’18.
The league has been pushing to release Nielsen-verified average-minute audience data in a bid to help sponsors, investors and media make fair comparisons between the esports property and traditional sports.
The OWL in September released its regular-season data, which was a TAD of 95K viewers in the U.S. and 313K globally, up 34% and 18% from last year, respectively. The league’s media rights with both Twitch and ABC/ESPN are up for renewal after this year, and the OWL is currently immersed in talks with both the incumbent partners and new bidders.
Adam Stern is a staff writer for Sports Business Journal, where this article first appeared.
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