An eSports series that was once confined to just NFL Network and YouTube is getting a mucher bigger stage, as EA Sports has closed a deal to put the Madden NFL 18 Club Championship and Madden NFL Ultimate League on the networks of ESPN and Disney XD.
Fortunately, this isn’t a deal that fans will have to wait a few months to see in effect, because as of tomorrow the Quarterfinal Round of the Madden NFL 18 Club Championship will air on ESPNNews live from the Pro Bowl in Orlando.
Afterward, the series travels to Minneapolis to broadcast the finale of the Madden NFL 18 Club Championship on ESPN 2 and ESPN Deportes from the floor of the Super Bowl Experience, just hours before the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles face off in a rematch from 2005.
That won’t be the end of their deal, though. Between Super Bowl LII and the 2018 NFL Draft, Disney XD and ESPN VOD will become the home for the Madden NFL Ultimate League that will feature 12 one-hour episodes every Thursday. Then, in April, the two networks will begin airing a half-hour episode every Tuesday that follows the superstars of the event. The series will culminate to a live Championship Final from Arlington, TX the home of the 2018 NFL Draft.
For an easier way to read this schedule, see below:
- Madden NFL 18 Club Championship Divisional Finals, Live from the Pro Bowl
- January 27: 10pm ET ESPNEWS
- Orlando, FL (Pro Bowl)
- Madden NFL 18 Club Championship Final, Live from Super Bowl LII
- February 1: 9pm ET ESPN2/Deportes
- Minneapolis, MN (Super Bowl LII)
- 12 one-hour episodes of the EA SPORTS Madden NFL 18 Ultimate League Regular Season
- Feb – April
- Exclusive to Disney XD
- Available on ESPN VOD
- Half-hour episodes of an Ultimate League Series
- Tuesdays at9pm ET
- Weekly fromApril 3 – May 1
- Exclusive to ESPN2/ESPN VOD, Disney XD and Deportes
- Madden NFL 18 Ultimate League Championship Final, Live from the NFL Draft
- April 28:7pm ETESPN2
- Arlington, TX (NFL Draft)
The deal is actually a really big deal for EA Sports. Out of all the professional eSports, Madden seemed to be one of the least covered events as it was only shown on YouTube and NFL Network. Broadening their reach with ESPN and the teens/adults that watch Disney XD will allow them to find new and bigger audiences that will help grow the sport.
The broadcast begins tomorrow from ESPN News.
Shameless plug for our own Madden NFL 18 tournament, the Madden NFL Classic that begins airing tonight and for 8 days straight!