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Pro Counter-Strike Gets A Terrible TV Time Slot

Illustration for article titled Pro iCounter-Strike/i Gets A Terrible TV Time Slot

Turner Broadcasting may be giving esports some of their biggest televised exposure yet, but it seems the media juggernaut still doesn’t think competitive gaming is ready for prime time.

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Turner’s upcoming ELEAGUE Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament, with a $1.2 million prize pool, will be running games four nights each week starting on May 24th. Only one of those nights will actually be broadcast on TBS, however, and only from 10 PM - 1 AM Eastern on Friday nights, a time slot where TV programs are historically exiled prior to cancellation. The rest of the games will be stream-only.

While this kind of low-profile time slot may not be what esports fans were hoping for, that’s still an awful lot of Counter-Strike that will be airing every Friday until the end of July. It is also a prudent step: it’s still unclear whether the esports audience, which lives online and watches all their esports competitions via streams, will actually tune into a cable channel to watch Counter-Strike. ELEAGUE is an experiment for everyone involved, and Turner’s broadcast schedule reflects that.

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Here’s what the schedule looks like.

Regular Season

  • May 24-27 (Tue-Fri) Group Play
    Tue-Thu, 12-7 p.m. (Exclusively Digital) Fri, 10 p.m.-1 a.m. (TBS & Digital)
  • May 31-June 3 (Tue-Fri) Group Play
    Tue-Thu, 12-7 p.m. (Exclusively Digital) Fri, 10 p.m.-1 a.m. (TBS & Digital)
  • June 7-10 (Tue-Fri) Group Play
    Tue-Thu, 12-7 p.m. (Exclusively Digital) Fri, 10 p.m.-1 a.m. (TBS & Digital)
  • June 14-17 (Tue-Fri) Group Play
    Tue-Thu, 12-7 p.m. (Exclusively Digital) Fri, 10 p.m.-1 a.m. (TBS & Digital)
  • June 21-24 (Tue-Fri) Group Play
    Tue-Thu, 12-7 p.m. (Exclusively Digital) Fri, 10 p.m.-1 a.m. (TBS & Digital)
  • June 28-July 1 (Tue-Fri) Group Play
    Tue-Thu, 12-7 p.m. (Exclusively Digital) Fri, 10 p.m.-1 a.m. (TBS & Digital)
  • Bye Week
  • July 12-15 (Tue-Fri) Last Chance Qualifier
    Tue-Thu, 12-7 p.m. (Exclusively Digital) Fri, 10 p.m.-1 a.m. (TBS & Digital)
  • July 21-22 (Thu-Fri) Quarterfinals
    Thu, 12-7 p.m. (Exclusively Digital) Fri, 10 p.m.-1 a.m. (TBS & Digital)
  • July 29 (Fri) Semifinals
    10 p.m.-1 a.m. (TBS & Digital)
  • July 30 (Sat) Global Championship
    4-7 p.m. (TBS & Digital)

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DISCUSSION

I saw the headline and expected a time slot at 1 am or something.

10 pm is honestly not bad at all. Not sure why you believe esports deserves a prime time slot. Outside of Korea of course.