There’s been a lot of news in recent weeks about esports being broadcast on live TV, whether that’s Rocket League coming to NBC Sports or ESPN 2 showing the Street Fighter V finals at EVO again. Today, another TV channel joined in that’s a little more surprising: Disney XD will broadcast the Super Smash Bros. Wii U finals at EVO 2017.
You read that right: Disney XD–the Disney spinoff channel that targets children ages 6-14 and primarily airs animated TV shows–is showing the Smash Bros. finals live. It’s part of Disney XD’s new gaming effort that it calls D|XP.
Starting tomorrow, July 15, from 9 PM-3 AM ET every night this summer, D|XP will air gaming-related content on Disney XD. It’s unclear what, exactly, the program will show during that block, but it’s partnering with content producers like ESPN and the Electronic Sports League.
The Super Smash Bros. finals air this Sunday, July 16, at 3 PM PT/6 PM ET/11 PM BST. Later that night, at 7 PM PT/10 PM ET/3 AM BST, ESPN 2 will broadcast the Street Fighter V finals.
This is the latest in a series of moves from television networks to increase their coverage of esports. ESPN, for example, has also brought Halo 5: Guardians to the Winter X Games, and previous years witnessed Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Call of Duty competitions at the X Games. This year, Rocket League will be featured at the Summer X Games and streamed live on ESPN 3 in addition to its other deal with NBC Sports.