October 31, 2018
The Simulation Football League presented by APM Music has the final ratings from the SFL’s 11th Championship Game, and they are massive. The broadcast set the league record for average viewers, max viewers, total minutes viewed, average unique viewers, average chatters and average chat messages.
“It was a thrilling night, and just speaks to the potential of this product,” said Commissioner Cameron Irvine. “There’s a market for this, an appetite for this and we know how to deliver and have the man power to deliver. It’s why we’ve been around for so long and grow everyday and why we will continue to grow this vision into it’s full potential. We won’t stop until we’ve broken through. Everyone will see how this esport is the next level of all the others.”
Minutes watched was the most impressive metric of the night. The previous high came on Wild Card Wednesday of Season 10, when the league was on the air for 3 hrs, 27 min. 312,341 minutes were watched of SFL action that night amongst 122,508 live viewers – which at the time were both records. That’s an average of 2.54 minutes per person, which means the league saw a lot of traction in and out of the product. Season 11’s Championship was a different story.
The league’s live views totalled 169,065 – a new record – but a whopping 648,731 minutes of broadcast were consumed in the Championship. That’s an average view time of 3.83 minutes viewed, a 66% increase.
“These are all positive signs,” Irvine said. “What these metrics mean is that people are tuning into our product, and they’re getting hooked on our product more-so than in the past. This is what networks want to see, this is what advertisers want to see, this is what investors want to see. Our people engaged with your product? We’re doing a better job in that category every day as we learn better ways to market what we do.”
Max Viewers: The old record of 3,190 came in the Season 10 Championship Game, which was hosted by SFL partner MediaTech Institute. Monday’s Championship saw as many as 5,875 viewers, a max viewer increase of 54% from the previous high.
Average viewers: The old record of 2,333 came in the Season 10 Championship Game. Monday’s Championship saw an average of 4,601 viewers, an average viewer increase of 51%.
Average chatters: The old record of 256 was eclipsed Monday by the 308 average chatters during the Season 11 title game.
“So what does this all mean, some may be wondering,” Irvine said. “It is very challenging gauging our success with Twitch’s success, and who is responsible for strong nights or weak nights on Twitch. We’ve had a broadcast on a Monday before that brought in the lowest ratings – but Overwatch League was on that night. Since, we have strategically placed our Front Page opportunities with Twitch’s broadcast schedule, this decision coming to place the Championship the day after TwitchCon, when we thought the Twitch audience may get a slight bump in enthusiasm. I’d say we were right. But we also put more into our production than ever before, and consistently our Championships perform better than our other broadcasts, which shows that the Twitch audience loves watching Champions of any kind crowned.
“We lost no viewership with an extended, entertaining halftime. We lost viewership a touch once the game ended. Watching these patterns and behaviors allows us to learn from production mistakes and correct them, because ultimately we are a product of what people want to see. In summary, both entities are responsible for our success, but we had 4,380 viewers at 7:20 and 4,370 viewers at 9:10. That’s a near 0% drop in viewership over a two-hour period and that means we’re latching on to an audience and giving them an experience. Not everyone can or wants to watch a full game, and we’re as conscious about that as ever. We’ll continue to improve.”
Season 12 starts the first week of January, which the league hopes and anticipates the opener on the Front Page. Conference re-alignment will be announced in November. The league schedule will be released in December.