| 2018-07-11 13:22:55|
ATVI, DIS 13:22 07/11 07/11/18
Activision rises after esports TV pact with Disney's ESPN, Disney XD
Shares of Activision Blizzard (ATVI) were trading higher in the afternoon after the game maker's Blizzard subsidiary reached a live television agreement with Disney's (DIS) ESPN and Disney XD to broadcast Overwatch League, the esports league based on Blizzard's "Overwatch" video game. WHAT'S NEW: Disney's ESPN, Disney XD and Blizzard Entertainment confirmed an earlier report that they had reached an exclusive multiyear agreement for live television coverage of Overwatch League. Starting with Overwatch League playoff coverage on Wednesday, July 11, across both networks, the 2017-2018 Overwatch League inaugural season concludes with the Grand Finals live from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, on ESPN and Disney XD July 27-28, the companies said. All coverage also will be available for ESPN and Disney network subscribers to stream live on the ESPN App and DisneyNOW. The companies added that the 2018 Grand Finals telecast on ESPN will mark the first time live competitive gaming has aired on the network in primetime. WHAT'S NOTABLE: On Activision Blizzard's last quarterly conference call on May 3, the company said that Overwatch League was "outperforming expectations" while reaching "millions" each week. In addition, the game maker noted that Overwatch League viewers had an average viewing time of over an hour. ANALYST OPINION: On May 22, BofA/Merrill analyst Justin Post maintained a Buy rating and $76 price target on Activision Blizzard, saying at the time that the company was "best positioned" for the growth of esports, citing the company's established and "dominant" Overwatch League and Call of Duty gaming franchises. PRICE ACTION: In afternoon trading, Activision Blizzard shares gained 1.8% to $77.57. The game maker is scheduled to report second quarter results after the market close on August 2.
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