BT Sport will air Fifa eSports tournaments in the UK

BT Sport has announced that it will exclusively broadcast the Fifa 17 Ultimate Team Championship Series in the UK.

Organised by EA, it’s one of the world’s top Fifa eSports competitions, revolving around the game’s 'FUT Champions' mode where players compete with teams they’ve put together themselves.  

Don't worry, they don't just televise various playthroughs of The Journey in a poor attempt at sports-centric drama.

BT shoots

BT will start airing the competition at its North American regional final which takes place in Vancouver on April 8th. 

It’ll then air the Asia-Pacific heats from Singapore on April 22 and the European regional final in Madrid on May 6. 

Things will finish up with the as-important-as-it-sounds Championship Final in Berlin on May 20 and 21. 

The Fifa franchise is hugely popular in the UK and its eSports tournament will sit nicely alongside BT Sport’s coverage of the Premier League, Champions League and Europa League fixtures.

In the US, EA has struck a similar deal with ESPN to show the competition on ESPN2, ESPN3 and ESPN Deportes.

It’s yet to be seen just how popular televised Fifa will be in both markets. Though the game has a huge fan base and professional tournaments are popular the world over, it’s not clear whether Fifa players will want to put down their own controllers and turn over to watch other players pick up theirs. 

Some real-life clubs are betting that it’ll be a success, though. A few teams including Manchester City in the UK have signed their very own eSports players to represent them at these tournaments and fan events. 

By being shown on BT Sport the competition is at the very least being targeted at the most likely audience, giving it a higher chance of success.

Emma Boyle

Emma Boyle is TechRadar’s ex-Gaming Editor, and is now a content developer and freelance journalist. She has written for magazines and websites including T3, Stuff and The Independent. Emma currently works as a Content Developer in Edinburgh.