Vizio, one of the largest TV manufacturers in the US according to point-of-sale tracker The NPD Group (tied for 2nd with LG in smart TV ownership according to Interpret data), recently signed a deal to include Engine Media’s UMG.TV 24-hour esports channel with Vizio smart TVs that have the SmartCast operating system.
The deal gives Vizio, a brand known among gamers for offering good quality displays at lower cost, access to the growing esports audience while UMG.TV gains a promotional push and the potential for greater awareness and viewership among Vizio TV owners who hadn’t tuned into the channel before. Interpret’s New Media Measure® shows that Vizio TV owners don’t follow esports as regularly as owners of other TV brands, but this deal gives Vizio an opportunity to change that.
UMG.TV, which is also available via Google Play and Apple devices, offers both collegiate and professional esports, and it secured broadcasting rights earlier this year to the Gears 5 Esports Challenger Series and the Overwatch Collegiate Series. The upcoming season also features shows based on Madden NFL 21, NBA 2K, and indie sensation Fall Guys.
The streaming market led by Twitch – which enjoyed an estimated record 5 billion hours watched this summer – is highly competitive and the platforms are continually seeking ways to gain an advantage. Often that means signing popular content creators like CohhCarnage to multi-year deals, but Interpret expects deals of the UMG.TV sort, which leverage device integration, to become more commonplace as the esports pie grows. Streaming is one of numerous market trends Interpret is tracking in its brand-new Esports Replay® product.