After exclusive deal with Facebook, ESL loses significant viewership

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Facebook & ESL, which signed an exclusivity streaming agreement a week ago, has left the fans disappointed. The deal featured ESL One and Pro League events to be streamed not traditionally on Twitch but Facebook.

After the deal went through, ESL One Genting was the first event. The tournament is the first Dota event of 2018 that features all of the top teams in the world and many fans were expected to tune into the event.

However, the first day of the competition and the Facebook live stream seemed to peak around the 7,000 viewers mark, with that number shrinking to around 2,000 for large parts of the broadcast. Unanticipated to the prediction of the management which was at a loss of viewership of 10-15%, the numbers dropped by more than 85% in the first run.

On a lighter note, the Reddit subsection moderators of DotA 2 have already started making fun of the decision. The section which shows ‘online viewers’ was renamed to ‘Facebook viewers.’

Although there are factors reflecting the drop in viewership, it is still considerably low.

  • Group stage matches
  • Different timezone
  • Ongoing ELEAGUE Boston Major

Other than the factors which could have dropped the numbers, the fans also complained about technical issues with the stream and the Facebook platform.

The visual quality of the stream was also not perfect while watching it on the mobile platforms. The only feasible way to watch on iOS devices is via the official Facebook app, which requires a Facebook account. An honest Reddit thread lists the serious problems of the deal.

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