EA, Disney team with National Football League on gaming network deal

AM ET Disney Makes Deal With NFL to Televise Madden Tourney eSports content to air on ESPN2 and Disney XD

Electronic Arts, ESPN, Disney XD, and the NFL are partnering up to broadcast the Madden NFL 18 Club Championship taking place at the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl.

The 32 National Football League franchises will each be represented by one Madden competitor.

The agreement encompasses several ESPN and Disney networks. "ESPN offers us distribution to a sports audience, and Disney XD lets us talk to an entertainment audience and a younger audience". The network also previously delivered exclusive live coverage of Heroes of the Dorm in 2015 and 2016, with the final airing live on ESPN2, and the 2015 tournament being the first ever live, televised coverage of a collegiate esports event for ESPN. The Madden NFL Ultimate League champion will be crowned at the Madden Bowl, live from the 2018 NFL Draft on ESPN2. The victor of the battle among 32 competitors will get to attend the Super Bowl in person.

Disney XD will handle broadcasts of the Madden NFL Ultimate League beginning in February. The Madden NFL 18 Club Championship at the Pro Bowl will be on ESPNEWS; the finals at the Super Bowl will be on ESPN2/Deportes; and the Ultimate League Championship final will be on ESPN2.


The Madden NFL Ultimate League will feature one-on-one competition between 16 of the best Madden NFL 18 Players. The 32 players will compete for a piece of the $403,000 prize pool.

The deal will bring in league matches from the tournament starting on January 26 of this year and lasting through the final championship game at the start of May.

The league produced the EA Madden NFL 18 Challenge, a one-hour esports documentary on The CW that gave a behind-the-scenes look for both Madden fans and people that don't understand how tough and hectic competitive gaming can get.

"We are excited", Sitrin said. "We are seeing a lot of growth in the player base of competitors who want to be in these events, and we are seeing a substantial increase in our television and our digital platforms. We are bullish on esports".

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