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.”