Nielsen Cares About eSports: Here’s Why You Should Too

Nielsen rates eSports

Television rating company Nielsen just released a playbook on the eSports industry and investment.

In August of this year, Nielsen declared that it would begin it’s in-depth research on eSports viewership. This announcement marks the first analytical analysis of the new industry.  North America and Europe are the focus of this report.

Information on eSports viewership, sponsorship, and participation has previously been difficult to measure.  Nicole Pike believed that the company was up for the task stating: “Nielsen knows sports, Nielsen knows games, and we obviously know the audience.”

Nicole Pike and Stephen Master will head up Nielsen’s new eSports department.

On Tuesday, Nielsen released an investment “playbook” that was put together by two members of the company’s new eSports team Nicole Pike and Stephen Master.

The report examines a number of statistics including those involving gender, games played, games followed by fans and social aspects of the industry.  It reviews many theories and myths associated with eSports and gaming in general.

The general purpose of this playbook is to position eSports in the bigger picture of entertainment. The graphic below summarizes these findings.


Nielsen eSports Charts
Source: Nielsen


Nielsen also determined that the viewership for eSports differs greatly from that of traditional sports.

In regard to sponsorship, there have been over 600 eSports sponsorship agreements since the start of last year. Most fans do not appreciate the volume of sponsorships present in the industry.

A major focus of the playbook focuses on the implications of the inclusion of eSports in the upcoming Olympic Games.  While 52 percent of fans believe that gaming should be considered a sport, only 28 percent consider it worthy of being included in the Olympics.

The most popular games played are the most likely candidates for the Olympic Games. The most played eSport in the United States and France in Call of Duty. Grand Theft Auto tops the charts in Germany and the UK.

Rounding out the new eSports department is a new advisory board. ESports event managers, broadcasters, publishers and others involved in the industry make up this board. The company is hoping that further research over the years will allow for a deeper understanding of the inner-workings of eSports.

Keep an eye out for another Nielsen publication and more research into the industry. The company looks to add statistics about the Asian eSports market in the near future.


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