Star Sports, India’s premier sports broadcaster, has teamed with esports company Nodwin Gaming to broadcast esports matches live on television.
The Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) Masters Series tournament, which will be aired in Hindi, Tamil, and English from June 24 to July 17, will be the first of its kind in the nation, and will give esports a huge boost. The tournament will be broadcast on Star Sports 2 in New Delhi, which was developed especially for large-scale esports tournaments.
The players will compete for a prize pool of Rs 1.5 crore. “We have been working tirelessly through the pandemic to build the foundation for such a big collaboration,” stated Akshat Rathee, MD and CoFounder of Nodwin Gaming. “This is a very big step for us in the right direction as we now take esports to the masses. So far, esports has always been associated with live streaming on digital platforms. Through this collaboration with a mainstream sports channel, we hope to break that mould.”
Rathee went on to say that satellite television has advantages such as unrivalled reach across the country, uninterrupted and timely broadcast that is not dependent on internet connectivity or speed, and affordability for the masses living in remote places. “We look forward to spreading the reach of esports, making a connection with the youth across India and bringing esports into the arena of other traditional sports,” he added.
The inclusion of esports in major multi-sporting events such as the Olympics, Asian Games, and Commonwealth Games demonstrates the sport’s growing importance around the world.
Sanjog Gupta, Head – Sports, Disney Star said, “Esports in India is a fastgrowing segment which has seen accelerated adoption over the last two years. It has immense headroom for growth in India when compared with its status in evolved markets around the world. It is also gaining prominence in the ecosystem as a competitive sport. Esports competitions have already developed a niche following on digital platforms.”
Star Sports is continuously exploring for innovative ways to engage fans, galvanise communities, and recruit new audiences as the foremost site for sports lovers. “Our partnership with Nodwin Gaming seeks to shape the future of eSports in India by introducing high quality competition and prominent players to millions of TV viewers around the country. It will hopefully fuel fandom for eSports amongst gamers and elevate aspiration amongst athletes,” he added.
The best 24 BGMI squads from India will compete in the tournament. For the first time, the teams, which have tens of millions of fans and have dominated the digital market, will put their gaming prowess, star performances, and rivalries on linear distribution.