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    • I still try to keep up with what’s going on in the film industry. It’s a weird microcosm that took me several years to understand—I still have no idea what a “Best Boy” is—and so there are a few Hollywood writers and reporters who I keep up with.

      Producer Richard Janes did an amazing deep dive on Medium about what Hollywood may look like after the Pandemic.

      One of his predictions is that Amazon will buy up one of the movie theater chains. They would test market a movie on Prime and, based on data from viewers in your local area, they would then decide which of their theaters to show the film in.

      As Janes points out, the logic behind the Paramount Decree no longer applies.

      The 1948 Paramount Decree stopped the practice of Hollywood studios owning theaters and controlling which films were shown to audiences. It opened the doors to indie filmmakers and broadened the landscape of quality films.

      So what does removing the decree have to do with eSports? I’m getting there momentarily.

      With a multitude of streaming services to show films, the need to separate ownership of studios and theaters has become irrelevant. The Justice Department is currently asking for the Decree to be ended.

      Getting audiences back in theaters is going to be a challenge even after a vaccine is discovered and herd immunity is created. Part fear and part inertia from changing stay-at-home habits, there will be a need for something new to draw people in.

      Live events on a massive screen is one approach.

      Esports has the advantage of protection on the player side, meaning no physical content with other players and therefore a quicker rollout of new seasons compared to traditional sports.

      On the audience side, I suspect we will start to see the equivalent of weather maps as herd immunity is developed: if your small community is in the green zone for infections, you’ll be more willing to “attend” a live event in your local theater than to drive to the city’s arena to attend with 5,000 other fans who came from a 100 mile radius of varying shades of greens, yellows and reds of infection.

      If you’re looking for a career change, eSports could become the hottest job in the post-Pandemic future. (Tagging @JBeck @itipmyhattoyou @pixelhalloffame)

    • This sounds like a tough sell, while esports have been doing great lately including the Overwatch League selling out the Flyers Arena in Philly for the championship what would make it different than say traditional sports when it comes to watching it in person or at home? The only time this sort of thing has really worked before is during the playoffs or championships and it's tied to being inside the home arena for your team when they're away. So what brings me and my friends into a theater VS staying home and watching on Twitch which is already Amazon's platform. If they wanted to do this sort of thing they'd also have to pay a bunch to Blizzard, Valve, Epic, Riot, etc. for the rights to show it since they run their own leagues.

    • If Blizzard could go back to broadcasting championship games from stadiums, then I would agree. But I foresee gamers avoiding stadiums for the foreseeable future. With the data that Amazon collects, they could target broadcasts to theaters with sufficiently large enough gamer audiences to make this work. They could also have “theater only viewing events” that black out Twitch. And Amazon is not afraid to lose money for extended periods of time if the long-term return is there.

      Sure, you could watch traditional sports at home instead of in a stadium or a sports bar. But there’s an enhanced experience from watching it with other fans in the same location.

      I think the same experience could be had in theaters. What didn’t work pre-pandemic could in post.

    • The idea of needing to go to a theater to see e-sports would go against the league's interests since they are all trying to grow and need to be available to as many people as possible. And Amazon doesn't have much leverage here since if they tried to play hardball Microsoft would likely give OWL a big chunk of cash if they were to go exclusively on Mixer, or for platforms with a greater install base there's Google with Youtube and Disney with ABC/ESPN/Disney+ all that could use the content.

      It's a really huge lift to try and make that happen. There's no direct connection between your local movie theater and the team. And you'd be paying close to stadium prices for food and drink compared to a sports bar plus it's setup to be a less interactive space VS sitting at a table.

    • Thank you for taking the considerable time to analyze and to explain the weaknesses and hurdles to making this idea reality. Your domain expertise in video games, which is encyclopedic I presume, gives a logical narrative to why this would create more problems than mutually beneficial outcomes for leagues and their fans.