Fox Sports to televise live Madden NFL 20 esports tournament

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,206   +120
Staff member

Had you told the programming directors at major broadcasters like ESPN and Fox Sports just one month ago that there would essentially be no live sports to air come the end of March, they would have laughed you right out of the room. Yet, here we are.

The NBA and NHL have canceled their seasons. The NCAA basketball tournament was canceled. NASCAR has postponed races through May 3. MLB has postponed the start of its season. Major boxing and MMA events have been called off. Even the Olympics have been pushed back a year.

Fox Sports said the esports tournament will consist of seven matches across three rounds of play to determine a winner among a field of celebrity competitors including Derwin James, Antonio Cromartie, Michael Vick, Matt Leinart, Orlando Scandrick, T.J.Houshmandzadeh, Juju Smith-Schuster and Ahman Green. All players will compete remotely with the matches streamed live during the telecast.

Yeah, it’s essentially Twitch, but on cable TV.

Sure, it’s unusual, but what other option does the broadcaster have? It’s not like there’s a contingency plan in place for this sort of scenario and Fox Sports likely doesn’t have the massive archive of old sporting events to fill open programming slots that ESPN does. The only option, it would seem, is to think outside the box and that’s what we’re seeing play out.

WWE, for example, is still pumping out content, albeit in empty arenas (and yes, it’s just as bizarre and uncomfortable as it sounds). The UFC is still attempting to put on its mega fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson on April 18, a bout that is seemingly cursed as it has been scheduled and canceled four times already.

For Fox and especially esports in general, however, this is a huge opportunity. Last week’s virtual NASCAR race drew impressive numbers and today’s football broadcast could easily top that. And to think, it wasn’t all that long ago when ESPN’s president proclaimed that esports were not real sports.

Fox Sports' Madden NFL 20 Invitational is scheduled to kick off at 7:00 Eastern on FS1.

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Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,104   +2,029
Well, people watch this all the time online anyways... as the lines blur between the internet and TV, why shouldn't this be aired?

I live in Canada, and I remember when the NHL had a prolonged lockout... Canadian Sports TV was in crisis.... all of a sudden, poker was seemingly on 24/7... now poker is a mainstay on TV, despite the return of hockey.

And you can't overestimate just how BORED people are right now. Heck, I ended up watching all 2 hours+ of the 2019 Marblelympics a few days ago - and now find myself eagerly tuning in to watch the Marbula One races - yes, they're as stupid as they sound... but WHAT ELSE CAN I WATCH!!
 

EClyde

Posts: 2,171   +843
Well, people watch this all the time online anyways... as the lines blur between the internet and TV, why shouldn't this be aired?

I live in Canada, and I remember when the NHL had a prolonged lockout... Canadian Sports TV was in crisis.... all of a sudden, poker was seemingly on 24/7... now poker is a mainstay on TV, despite the return of hockey.

And you can't overestimate just how BORED people are right now. Heck, I ended up watching all 2 hours+ of the 2019 Marblelympics a few days ago - and now find myself eagerly tuning in to watch the Marbula One races - yes, they're as stupid as they sound... but WHAT ELSE CAN I WATCH!!
What's that old saying? Get a life
 
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Evernessince

Posts: 4,998   +5,124
Well, people watch this all the time online anyways... as the lines blur between the internet and TV, why shouldn't this be aired?

I live in Canada, and I remember when the NHL had a prolonged lockout... Canadian Sports TV was in crisis.... all of a sudden, poker was seemingly on 24/7... now poker is a mainstay on TV, despite the return of hockey.

And you can't overestimate just how BORED people are right now. Heck, I ended up watching all 2 hours+ of the 2019 Marblelympics a few days ago - and now find myself eagerly tuning in to watch the Marbula One races - yes, they're as stupid as they sound... but WHAT ELSE CAN I WATCH!!
VR + Steam backlog = no boredom

 

Nobina

Posts: 2,439   +2,037
Sports esports is dumb. I'd rather watch real football than FIFA. Games such as CSGO and Dota are much more interesting and in depth and they're not trying to emulate something you can see in real life.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 6,946   +5,228
Is there a shortage of newly painted walls to watch dry??
Yeah, the Social Distancing requirements makes the Great Wall of China the only reasonable application .... and we all know the implications of that one! Besides, with all the Press Corp. being tossed out, there will be no coverage! LOL
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,104   +2,029
I know. Doesn't make it less shitty.
Well, not for you... but scarily, as we are deprived of our usual entertainment, inferior sources become "less shitty". Again, I never would have even considered watching Marblelympics 2 months ago... and while it wasn't as good as the "real" Olympics, I have to admit I was entertained.
 

Nobina

Posts: 2,439   +2,037
Well, not for you... but scarily, as we are deprived of our usual entertainment, inferior sources become "less shitty". Again, I never would have even considered watching Marblelympics 2 months ago... and while it wasn't as good as the "real" Olympics, I have to admit I was entertained.
I get what you're saying but there's plenty of entertainment out there on the internet and I am still not forced to watch virtual sports.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,104   +2,029
I get what you're saying but there's plenty of entertainment out there on the internet and I am still not forced to watch virtual sports.
Good for you... but a lot of us disagree... I'm looking forward to the last Marbula One race now...Looks like the Hazers have the overall championship wrapped up - but that move on the last lap of race 7 really gave Orange a fighting chance!