New Franchises Coming to Overwatch League via Several Expansion Sales
An Overwatch League expansion is expected to happen for the program’s second season, which is set to start in 2019. Per a report from ESPN, Activision Blizzard has finalized an expansion slot sale for Atlanta, funded by Georgia-based Cox Enterprises. A couple more sales are still in the negotiation process, with McCourt Global and Nenking Group negotiating for expansion slots for Paris and Guangzhou, China, respectively.
According to ESPN and German newspaper Handelsblatt, these sales are part of a plan to add six new franchises for the second season. These slots, which sold for $20 million each for the first season, are expected to sell anywhere from $30 to $60 million. The price is affected by “number of bidders, Overwatch player density, and general population of each city.”
Sources told ESPN that a representative from Cox Enterprises attended the recent Overwatch League finals and was involved in a private owners meeting the day before. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick was also there, along with staff from Activision Blizzard’s team business operations and sales departments.
Cox Enterprises is an enormous conglomerate with over 60,000 employees. It owns several Atlanta companies and has been investing in newer tech and media businesses. However, Cox is not the first conglomerate to get involved with the Overwatch League. Comcast was the first, acquiring the Philadelphia slot in September for $20 million, in tandem with its sports subsidiary, Spectator.