EBU partners with Ubisoft to offer eSports programme at this year’s Olympic Winter Games
Today, the EBU announced a partnership with Ubisoft to make the finals of the Steep™ Road to the Olympics tournament available to its Members – bringing a fresh dimension to this year’s Olympic Winter Games.
Steep™ Road to the Olympics is an Official Licensed Product of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. It is an expansion to Steep, the open world action-sports game that launched in December 2016. Steep™ Road to the Olympics features the “Become a Legend” mode where players embark with pro athletes on the journey toward Olympic gold in Freestyle disciplines. In addition to Freestyle events, players are also able to compete in Alpine Olympic events as well as exploring the mountains of Japan.
The six top players of the Steep™ Road to the Olympics tournament will come together this week for a televised final to be recorded in Katowice, Poland and available for EBU Members to broadcast from 7th February 2018 - just before the Olympic Winter Games Opening Ceremony. For this event, the competitors will have to prove their worth in two distinct events: Slopestyle (Snowboard) & Downhill (Alpine Skiing). The winners in each event will win an invitation to a once-in-a-lifetime experience at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 Opening Ceremony.
Around 300 million people tune in to esports today and that number is growing rapidly. By 2020 that number is expected to have reached the 500 million mark.
EBU Director of Sport Stefan Kuerten said: “Together with our Members we are keen to see esports feature alongside more traditional sports on our platforms.
“As the sport continues to expand, we have the opportunity to leverage our unrivalled experience in media rights to partner with the best esports actors on the market and support the growth of the phenomenon.”
Eurovision Media Services - the business arm of the EBU - will distribute the broadcast to the European media community through its VOD platform (WorldLink) and streaming services (eurovisionsports.tv).
The EBU has already organised various Master Classes for Members to discuss best practice in esports and share experiences. Public services broadcasters including the BBC (UK), DW (Germany), SVT (Sweden) and RTVE (Spain) have broadcast several esports competitions in recent years and RTP (Portugal) have their own dedicated esport channel Arena.