Last year’s Madden 19 Championship Finale set new viewing records, and that was when there were actual sports available to watch. Now, the coronavirus pandemic has reshuffled real-life action and EA’s plans for the game’s championship series, but the new schedule will put the esports competition closer to the spotlight.
A Madden NFL Celebrity Tournament that has occurred in sync with the NFL draft will wrap up this weekend with a championship game at noon on Sunday set to air on ESPN2. Meanwhile, videogame pros will participate in a last chance qualifier today and tomorrow, with Sunday games airing on ESPN2 as well.
In between the network will show Road to the Madden Bowl episodes that highlight the various esports players using “exclusive features and interviews with Madden competitive stars.” It’s all part of a schedule that leads up to the Madden NFL 20 Bowl semifinals and finals on May 16th, which will air live on YouTube, Twitch and ESPN starting at 5 PM ET.
ESPN is hardly the only network diving deep into esports events right now, and Fox already aired a Madden tournament event in March. But putting up five straight hours of Madden coverage on a Sunday afternoon in April is exceptional — even if it is on ESPN2.
Madden NFL 20 Championship Series Schedule
Saturday, April 25
Sunday, April 26
12 p.m. ET: Madden NFL 20 Celebrity Tournament Championship (ESPN2)
1 p.m. ET: ROAD TO THE MADDEN BOWL, Episode 1 (ESPN2)
1:30 p.m. ET: ROAD TO THE MADDEN BOWL, Episode 2 (ESPN2)
2 p.m. ET - 5 p.m. ET: LIVE Madden NFL 20 Last Chance Qualifier (ESPN2)
Saturday, May 2
11 a.m. ET: ROAD TO THE MADDEN BOWL, Episode 3 (ESPN2)
Wednesday, May 6 - Saturday, May 9:
Thursday, May 14
Friday, May 15:
Saturday, May 16: