ESPN and EA Sports have announced an upcoming slate of Madden NFL 20 Championship Series (MCS) coverage coming to ESPN2 and the ESPN app.
On April 26th, ESPN will broadcast a five-hour block of Madden programming, including the live three-hour Madden NFL 20 Bowl Last Chance Qualifier.
ESPN2 will also broadcast a Madden NFL 20 Celebrity Tournament Championship on Sunday, with a donation made in the winner’s name to charity Feeding America to support COVID-19 pandemic relief. Two episodes of Road to the Madden Bowl will also air on Sunday, with a third episode to come on May 2nd.
Early stages of the Madden NFL 20 Bowl tournament will be streamed via the ESPN app during the first two weeks of May, alongside Twitch and YouTube streams. Ultimately, the tournament’s semifinals and finals will broadcast live on ESPN2 on May 16th, alongside Twitch and YouTube.
Todd Sitrin, SVP and GM, Competitive Gaming Division at Electronic Arts, commented in a release: “At a time where live sports are paused, esports has stepped up as an incredible source of entertainment, inspiration, and joy for fans across the world. Through this exciting programming with ESPN, we can invite the broader sports community to be a part of the unique and authentic Madden esports competition, keeping gamers and traditional sports fans alike connected, while staying safe at home.”
The Madden NFL 20 Bowl will award a total of $220,000 (£178,059) in prize money and serve as the final event in the Madden NFL 20 Championship Series. It is also part of EA’s “Stay Home. Play Together.” campaign to provide competitive play opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread shelter-in-place orders.
Esports Insider says: As Sitrin said, esports are filling the void left by traditional sports during the pandemic. We’re seeing it in F1, NBA 2K, FIFA, and even NHL esports, and Madden’s mainstream appeal (particularly in the United States) makes it a strong substitute for ESPN’s platforms.