Esports is being considered as a medal event for the 2024 Olympics Games, according to The Guardian. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is expected to award the 2024 Games to Paris, and co-president of Paris bid committee Tony Estanguet plans to speak to the IOC and esports executives about including competitive video gaming as an official sport.
The 2024 Olympic Games program will begin to be formed in 2019, with the final decision coming after the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Including esports in the Olympics would benefit a multitude of stakeholders:
- It could help boost millennial viewership. The Olympics faced its first ratings slip in more than a decade at the 2016 Rio Games. And prime-time viewership for the 18-49 year old age group at the 2016 Games was 25% smaller compared with four years earlier, according to Bloomberg. The inclusion of esports could help address this, as nearly 51% of esports fans are millennials, according to Nielsen. Additionally, the Games recently added three-on-three basketball and freestyle BMX to cater to younger audiences, which would also help TV networks’ pitch to advertisers seeking younger audiences.
- This would increase the value of Olympic programming. It would allow the IOC to charge more for Olympic rights and for TV networks to charge more for ad space. Comcast paid over $12 billion to secure the US rights to six Olympic Games through to 2036. During last year’s Olympic Games, Comcast-owned network NBC reached a record $1.2 billion in ad sales for the games, with digital sales up 33% from London 2012, according to Ad Age.
- It helps pave the way to cement esports as a legitimate, mainstream sport. Esports is relatively young, and inclusion in the Olympics would expose it to a global viewing audience, as over 3.6 billion people globally viewed at least one minute of the Rio Olympics, according to the IOC. Though esports’ popularity ultimately depends upon entertainment preferences of Olympics viewers, including it at the very least gives it a significant boost in consumer awareness.
- This, in turn could also lead to a central governing body for esports. Esports lacks an independent, overarching governing body to revert to for industry related matters, which can lead to power imbalances among different genres of gaming in the industry. Yet the Olympics could give rise to an overarching governing body that oversees the esports industry, similar to how FIFA oversees international soccer.
What will the future of eSports look like? How high can it climb? Could it reach the mainstream popularity of baseball or football? How will advertisers be able to reach an audience that does its best to shield itself from advertising?
Robert Elder, research analyst for BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has compiled an unparalleled report on the eSports ecosystem that illuminates the business of eSports from four angles:
- The gaming nucleus of eSports, including an overview of popular esport genres and games; the influence of game publishers, and the spectrum of strategies they adopt toward their respective esport scenes; the role of eSports event producers and the tournaments they operate.
- The eSports audience profile, its size, global reach, and demographic, psychographic, and behavioral attributes; the underlying factors driving its growth; why they are an attractive target for brands and broadcasters; and the significant audience and commercial crossover with traditional sports.
- eSports media broadcasters, including digital avant-garde like Twitch and YouTube, newer digital entrants like Facebook and traditional media outlets like Turner’s TBS Network, ESPN, and Canal Plus; their strategies and successes in this space; and the virtual reality opportunity.
- eSports market economics, with a market sizing, growth forecasts, and regional analyses; an evaluation of the eSports spectacle and its revenue generators, some of which are idiosyncratic to this industry; strategic planning for brand marketers, with case studies; and an exploration of the infinite dynamism and immense potential of the eSports economy.
To get the full report, subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you’ll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> Learn More Now
You can also purchase and download the full report from our research store.