E-sports revenue is in the gutter. Viewership is constantly on the rise but revenue isn’t on an incline the way viewership is. Monetization has always been a problem for e-sports and it’s one of the main reasons why it’s had a tough time securing broadcasting slots and gaining sponsorship footholds. Well, one analyst thinks that sports betting could buoy the revenue as the e-sports market continues to grow.
The Inquirer is reporting that despite the growth of e-sports, finding ways to generate revenue from that market has been difficult due to the fact that e-sports fans are smart unlike typical broadcast television audiences: e-sports fans use adblockers, and avoid being inculcated with the vices of mainstream misinformation by avoiding television.
Essentially, e-sports fans are everything that corporations hate since they’re not easy marks.
According to Laurent Michaud, the director of studies at the European think-tank IDate, the revenue intake of the e-sports market isn’t entirely reflective of how big a market it actually is, saying…
“This year, e-sport should earn a little over 850 million euros ($990 million) and studies show that come 2021 we’ll reach turnover of some three billion euros,” […] “But that’s set against a global video games market worth more than 65 billion euros.”
Michaud also went on to explain that given the way e-sports fans congregate over the activity, the future growth is in broadcast television but rather in webcasting. Michaud also stated that revenue could be offset with the help of sports betting…
“Broadcasting rights will concern platforms, there will be (rights) for the organisation of events, everything connected to sports betting could comprise important revenue.”
Michaud’s remedy to the low intake of revenue within e-sports isn’t the first time it’s been mentioned. The CEO of Maestro also mentioned the same thing, stating that the e-sports betting and gambling rings could help pay for team costs to compensate for the low revenue.
Not every region agrees with this direction, with Australia’s government having cracked down on e-sports betting, making it illegal.
The Inquirer article states that some sponsorships are starting to put more money into the field, but it’s low and slow on the uptick.
Most salaries for e-sports teams are paid through DLC purchases for popular games like League of Legends and Dota 2. Despite Blizzard goading big corps to dump millions into Overwatch, nothing about the game’s e-sports scene has proven to be profitable at this point, nor have they discussed how to make the game’s electronic competition profitable. For now it looks like e-sports will continue to grow, but it isn’t the money maker that some people think it is.