Esports could be in 2024 Paris Olympics

The Summer Olympics are reserved for athletic competitions. But this could change at the 2024 Paris Olympics because eSports are on the agenda. Tony Estanguet, co-president of the Paris Olympic bid committee, will speak with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) about the possibility of eSports being on the program. “We can’t say, ‘It’s not us. […]

The Summer Olympics are reserved for athletic competitions. But this could change at the 2024 Paris Olympics because eSports are on the agenda.

Tony Estanguet, co-president of the Paris Olympic bid committee, will speak with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) about the possibility of eSports being on the program.

“We can’t say, ‘It’s not us. It’s not about Olympics,’” said Estanguet. “The youth, they are interested in eSport and this kind of thing. Let’s look at it. Let’s meet them. Let’s try if we can find some bridges.”

Adding Esports is about Attracting Younger Viewers

According to PBS News Hour, the 2016 Rio Olympics saw a 30% drop in television viewers aged 18-34.

This reflects millennials’ tendency to view content through online videos and social media. This directly contrasts with the Olympics prime revenue source, which includes ads on network television.

BTIG media analyst Brandon Ross discussed the dilemma that the Olympics and networks now face.

“If you go back to even before cable in the 1970s when the Olympics were on or any show, there was very little to watch in terms of video on television,” said Ross. “So each piece of content got very, very high ratings. That’s just not the world we live in anymore.”

The IOC has attempted to address the problem for the 2020 Tokyo Games by adding BMX and 3-on-3 basketball. Adding eSports could bring an extra level of enthusiasm among younger viewers.

Esports has a Tough Road to Paris

Even with eSports’ potential to attract a new viewership base, the gaming sport faces a difficult task in gaining IOC recognition. Esports-Pro’s Jake Tucker discussed some of these problems.

One is the constant question of whether or not eSports truly counts as a sport (when compared to athletics).

Another problem will be scheduling because the Summer Olympics coincide with major eSports events like the Call of Duty World Championship and Quake World Championships. If the best players don’t come to the Paris Olympics, then the event will be mundane in comparison to sports with high-profile athletes.

There’s still a chance that we’ll see eSports in the 2024 Paris Olympics. But don’t count on it happening until it’s truly official.

 

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