May 28 2016 - 10:14 pm

ELEAGUE averages half a million viewers on TBS during primetime

ELEAGUE’s premiere week kicked off with a bang, gaining the attention of millions of people on social media
Dot Esports Managing Editor

ELEAGUE’s premiere week kicked off with a bang, gaining the attention of millions of people on social media. And now we know viewership numbers on Twitch and for last night’s primetime broadcast on national American television station TBS.

A 10-week Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competition, the first season of ELEAGUE sees 24 of the best teams from around the world playing for their share of $1.2 million, with the second season starting later this year with the same prize pool. The eyes of the whole esports industry have been on ELEAGUE since it was first announced last year, with many people speculating as to whether esports really can draw in large numbers on television—despite Turner not being the first company to broadcast esports on a national station.

To broaden ELEAGUE’s reach, partners Turner and talent management agencies WME | IMG struck a two-year deal with streaming platform Twitch to broadcast the games from Tuesday through Thursday, with the observer feed on Twitch on Friday night during the main event and the full broadcast being shown exclusively on TBS.

Altogether, ELEAGUE videos were streamed on Twitch 4.3 million times from its debut on Tuesday through Friday night—the numbers were calculated from the Twitch dashboard at 10.30am today. The peak concurrent viewership was over 92,000. During the Friday night primetime broadcast on TBS (between 10 and 11pm EDT), ELEAGUE averaged 509,000 total viewers for the Group A finals between Luminosity Gaming and Cloud9, according to the Nielsen Fast Nationals, Live + Same day data. Note that the finals actually ran well over the one-hour primetime slot, so the number doesn't reflect total viewership for the whole broadcast.

On top of the viewership numbers, ELEAGUE was also widely discussed on Twitter on Friday night, with 360 million impressions for the keywords ELEAGUE, @EL, TBS, Luminosity, and Cloud9. The total Twitter impressions for the week was 710 million.

ELEAGUE continues on Tuesday with Group B, featuring G2 Esports, Ninjas in Pyjamas, OpTic Gaming, and Selfless—which replaced Chinese team TyLoo after they had trouble obtaining visas.

A request for comment from Turner was not returned by publication time.