Esports Had as Many Spectators as the NBA in 2018

Up to 63 millions of esports viewers

Feb 15, 2019
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The line between traditional sports and esports is becoming blurrier in the media context, launching a never ending discussion about what is considered a sport. According to a recent study made by the agency Activate, the interest in esports in the US has reached the same amount of viewers as the NBA, the most popular basketball league on the planet.

This data implies the widespread interest that esports cause, compared to the most ingrained sports events. However, the number of spectators of games like Dota 2 or League of Legends is still far from the numbers recorded by the NFL. American football is the most followed sport in the United States, with more than 139 million consumers. It is followed by  MLB (83 million), NBA (63), NHL (32) and MLS (13). 

The whole group of esports, considered as an independent group, is top three in the ranking of north america’s most followed leagues.  Up to 63 million people watched esports in 2018, specially due to live events made for games like Overwatch, LoL, Dota 2 or Call of Duty.

One of the big differences between these two categories, esports and traditional sports, is the way they are consumed. While electronic sports are mostly followed through the internet, football or basketball leagues have always been broadcasted on television. This is one of the reasons why business models are often so different.