Viewership statistics is one of the most important metrics to look at when evaluating the success of the esports industry at large. The reason for this is to find out the number of people that watch the big events in sports which in turn has a direct correlation to how many people care about a particular esports league. For instance, the League of Legends World Championship, and the Superbowl can rack up tens of millions of viewers for a single best-of-five series, depending on the location and teams involved.
Online sportsbooks aren’t as generous with free bets as they once were. But with esports betting on the rise, we could see competition between top esports betting sites bring the free bet back into vogue. The esports betting landscape contains both traditional online sportsbook that offers esports alongside other sports events like the Superbowl and tennis and esports-first sportsbooks with a primary (or even a completely exclusive) focus on esports.
In this article, we will compare the viewership and revenue of League esports to that of the NFL’s Super Bowl.
League of legends has seen more views than NFL’s Super Bowl. The viewership numbers from the “League of Legends” World Championship finals — held in South Korea and also hosted by the game’s publisher, Riot Games — showed that almost 100 million unique viewers tuned in to the event online. For comparison, this year’s Super Bowl had just over 96.4 million viewers, the smallest viewership number for the event since 2007. when the Indianapolis Colts played the Chicago Bears, another CBS broadcast. That game attracted 93.1 million viewers, according to Octagon’s media division data provided to CNBC
Even though the overall viewership totals of this year’s super bowl were a disappointment, CBS said the stream averaged 5.7 million viewers per minute which is still quite good.
Tickets for the League of Legends world final are always sold out. The previous tickets sold out in less than four hours upon their release, prompting Riot to release an additional 3,000 tickets on top of an initial batch of 23,000. The world finals in 2017, held in Beijing’s Olympic “Bird’s Nest” stadium, sold out to a crowd of 40,000, the total number of seats made available for the game that day. League of Legends has been on the rise and recently they have attracted more viewers than the Super Bowl, and it is expected to get even bigger with time.
When it comes to revenue, In-depth data website SuperData confirmed in its 2020 Year-In-Review Report that Riot Games’ multiplayer online battle arena League of Legends generated $1.75 billion in revenue last year. Among other free-to-play titles, League of Legends was the sixth highest-grossing game of the year and the only non-mobile game in the top 10. This is not the most money League of Legends has made in a year — $2.1 billion in 2017 is the current high mark — but given the state of the world during the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to many an esports event shutting down, the revenue is still impressive.
The super bowl generates its revenue via commercial ads. The huge exposure of the Super Bowl generates millions of dollars in advertising revenue for the NFL. In 2021, advertisers had to pay an average of 5.6 million U.S. dollars to air a 30-second long commercial during the Super Bowl LV broadcast. With so many captive viewers before, during, and after the game, advertisers use the Super Bowl as a means of raising awareness for their products. However, this awareness and visibility come at a cost. The statistic for this year’s revenue hasn’t been released but 2020’s stats show that some of the largest Super Bowl advertisers included Amazon and Volkswagen, while Anheuser-Busch sat top of the list, spending 42 million U.S. dollars on advertising during the big game. As a result of this big-spending, Super Bowl advertising revenue reached a record 449 million U.S. dollars in 2020, more than twice the figure of 2011.