Media Rights: SPORT1 to Televise ESL Pro League in German, RuHub Faces Hurdles With Flashpoint Russian Coverage

It was announced this week that Germany’s Sport1 would broadcast the ESL Pro League live on its pay TV channel eSPORTS1, as part of a sublicense agreement with 7Sports—the sports business unit of ProSiebenSat.1 Group. Lasting until 2022, the deal also includes other ESL Pro Tour Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) competitions, such as the ESL One Rio de Janeiro Major and numerous DreamHack events, plus highlight rights, for Germany, Austra, and Switzerland. Selected live broadcasts and highlights will also be featured on free TV through SPORT1 and its digital platforms. 

Meanwhile, RuHub, a broadcasting and video production studio under the ESforce portfolio was forced to backtrack on its new rights deal for the CS:GO competition series Flashpoint. Originally announcing that it had acquired the Russian broadcasting rights, RuHub posted today on Russian social media platform VK that it will not be covering the first season. It stated that the requirements of the tournament operator violated the laws of the Russian Federation, and thus could not be implemented in its studio. The Esports Observer has reached out to FACEIT, the operator of Flashpoint, for clarification on what these requirements are.

Flashpoint broadcasted its group selection on Twitch yesterday, and will begin season play today. The ESL Pro League will begin its 11th season broadcasts on March 16. Both feature a mix of partner teams and open qualifiers, creating the first instance of two professional CS:GO competitions running without any shared teams. 

The live arena finals for both have been canceled in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and regular season games are being played online only.

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