It’s the biggest sporting event on the global calender — at least to people in the US — attracting a global audience in the billions and making for some truly entertaining viewing. But it’s never had to compete with the eSports juggernaut.
As Super Bowl 51 airs on Fox, ESPN will be broadcasting the FIFA Ultimate Team Championship on its main channel, going head-to-head with the NFL alongside some of the world’s best FIFA players.
The EA SPORTS FIFA 17 Ultimate Team Championship Series is open to eligible FIFA 17 players on both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 who register for the competition.
Players earn their way in by competing within their region and across the competition’s two qualification Seasons.
“We’re expanding our competitive gaming portfolio to include events that also resonate with traditional sports fans, and EA’s FIFA Ultimate Team Championship Series fits perfectly into how we intend to continue to serve esports fans moving forward,” said ESPN VP of programming and acquisitions, John Lasker.
Lasker says that the airing of the FIFA 17 Ultimate Team Championship Series alongside the Super Bowl was a purposefully timed tactic to battle the sporting supergiant.
“We’re trying to line ourselves up so that we’re covering the event when the event’s happening,” Lasker told ESPN. “The idea that we’re putting it up against the Super Bowl really has nothing to do with the Super Bowl itself.”
Unfortunately for Australian fans hoping to watch some live ESPN coverage of the Championship, the regional equivalent of the channel is actually showing — you guessed it — the Super Bowl.
The good news is that it will be broadcast live on YouTube and Twitch, however, so you still have plenty of options available to you.