Releasing a tweet earlier by one of the Evolution Championship Series’s co-founders, Joey “MrWizard” Cuellar has made the announcement that this year’s broadcast of EVO 2016 on ESPN had reached over 1,946,000 unique viewers who watched for an average of 20 minutes.
— Joey Cuellar (@MrWiz) August 1, 2016
A chart was presented later on that showed that the average viewer at any point during the Capcom Street Fighter V Championships broadcast was roughly 201,000. This number exceeds that of any other broadcasts on ESPN 2 this year so far.
— Manny Anekal (@mannyanekal) August 1, 2016
The broadcast on ESPN 2 was a first for EVO and these numbers have shown that there is an audience willing to watch ESPN. While these numbers don’t exactly size up against mainstream sporting broadcasts, it has succeeded in taking the necessary and pivotal steps to take eSports to the mainstream medium.
It is interesting to note that the percentage of viewers during EVO’s Championships was higher than that of Madden 2016’s. Despite the gap, it shows the mature audience who might be less inclined to watch video gaming tournaments were still intrigued due to watching what was showcased at EVO.
With encouraging numbers, EVO is expected to see a positive growth as numbers improve next year. Improvements will be made to not just the lineup of games but the accessibility and approachability that eSport video games will have on the mainstream.