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Valve and ESPN get cozy in new eSports deal

The popularity of eSports continues to attract traditional sports organizations like ESPN, who is partnering with Valve to stream the Dota 2 International via its streaming and broadcast channels.
The remarkable popularity of eSports continues to attract traditional sports organizations like ESPN, who will be partnering with Valve to stream the upcoming Dota 2 The International tournament via its ESPN3 streaming channel. That's not quite broadcast billing on a global sports network, but it's pretty close -- ESPN3 is an online streaming network, and it typically broadcasts sporting events that aren't shown on the ESPN or ESPN2 TV networks: American Le Mans Series racing, for example, or NCAA lacrosse games. Under the terms of the partnership, ESPN3 will stream games and analysis from The International while it runs this weekend (July 18-22) in Seattle. ESPN2 (which is often sold as part of basic cable packages) will also broadcast what the company is calling an "Exclusive Final Match Preview Show" on Sunday evening. This isn't the first time ESPN has gotten cozy with eSports, either: last month, the company partnered with Major League Gaming to host MLG's 3-day Call of Duty: Ghosts invitational alongside its X Games Circuit of The Americas event in Austin, Texas.

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