Comcast pays $20M for Philadelphia e-sports team, invests in Activision’s Overwatch league

Comcast Center headquarters in Philadelphia. Image: Comcast
Comcast sees e-sports as a way of connecting to younger consumers. But among high sports team owners, the cable giant certainly isn’t alone. 

Comcast is paying $20 million for a Philadelphia franchise within Activision Blizzard’s Overwatch e-sports league. 

“Overwatch” is the multiplayer first-person shooter video game first released by Activision Blizzard last year. And e-sports, of course, is comprised of spectator events where folks pay good money to watch professionals play the games, either at live venues or over the internet. 

Comcast Spectator, which owns the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers, and which recently purchased a minor league hockey team and a pro lacrosse squad, said there are around 300,000 Overwatch players in its home town of Philadelphia.

“We like the idea of hosting events, bringing in fans and growing this market,” said Dave Scott, CEO of Comcast Spectator, to Bloomberg, which first reported on Comcast’s purchase. He added that Comcast is in the process of hearing a head coach and players. It’s also looking for a home arena that will seat fewer than 5,000 people. 

As Bloomberg noted, Comcast sees e-sports as a way of connecting to younger consumers. But among high sports team owners, Comcast certainly isn’t alone. 

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Stanley Kroenke of the Los Angeles Rams have also invested in Overwatch. 

“We’re very focused on the theme that this is premium content,” said Pete Vlastelica, chief executive of Activision’s Major League Gaming division, to Bloomberg. “I think Comcast coming in is validation of that.”

Suggested Articles

Alan Wolk, co-founder and lead analyst at TV[R]EV, looks at the new NFL season streaming plan and HBO's content giveaway during the pandemic.

Altice USA is giving premium pay to its customer-interfacing employees during the coronavirus crisis, but not all cable technicians will qualify.

T-Mobile this week wrapped up the lengthy process of acquiring Sprint. With the deal done, the company may pick up where it left off on video.