ESL announces non-exclusive Facebook deal
ESL has announced that it has agreed a new broadcast deal with Facebook to bring more action to the social media network's gaming platform.
With this new deal, which will run until the end of the year, all IEM stops will be broadcast on the Facebook platform, joining the ESL One events and the Pro League, which were already included in last year's agreement.
Still, this represents a considerable downgrade in terms of the ramifications of the partnership with Facebook, which no longer has the exclusive rights to any of ESL's premier Counter-Strike competitions.
The news will be greatly welcomed by the community following widespread criticism of the Facebook Gaming platform since the partnership came into effect, in January 2018.
In an interview with HLTV.org during ESL One Cologne, Ulrich "theflyingdj" Schulze, ESL's Senior Vice President of Product, acknowledged that the performance of the platform was still not up to par and that Facebook had failed to deliver on a number of promises.
However, in a press release ESL claims that both companies "have collaborated to make significant updates to the watch experience for esports fans", including video quality and stability improvements, and a much more user-friendly design of the platform.
"Expanding ESL content to include all global esports competitions is a way for us to satisfy the growing appetite for watching gaming video content on Facebook," Leo Olebe, Global Director of Games Partnerships at Facebook said in a statement.
"Providing ESL fans with a way to watch esports on multiple platforms is something we know the community cares about, and that's a big reason why all 2019 content will broadcast anywhere ESL chooses to stream.
"We'll continue to listen and act on feedback from gamers as we work together in building the world's gaming community."
The announcement comes just one day before the start of the IEM Katowice Major, which will be streamed globally on Facebook in English at 1080p and 60 frames per second.