The agreement follows Swift’s recent content licence and distribution agreement with US-based eSports company Real Big Hits, which gives Swift live broadcast rights to sought-after eSports content.
The deal with Hoyts defines a shared model of revenue from all ticket sales and has an initial three-year term, with the parties holding an option to extend the contract for a further three.
Swift chief executive officer Xavier Kris said: “Signing this deal with Hoyts on the back of securing our eSports content licence and distribution agreement with Real Big Hits demonstrates the strong interest in the growing eSports market.
“Hoyts is a clear leader in the cinema distribution industry and through this partnership we are excited to reach new audiences as we help Hoyts to execute its eSports growth ambitions.”
Hoyts is one of the world’s leading entertainment corporations, owning and operating more than 50 cinemas with over 430 screens across Australia and New Zealand.
It recently established a dedicated eSports division, through which it plans to stream weekly eSports events across Australian cinemas, as part of a $300-million capital investment.
Hoyts eSports general manager Scott Russell said: “Hoyts recognises that eSports is a rapidly growing market and we want to be at the forefront of providing this exciting content to our customers.
“Securing this exclusive in-cinema deal with Swift will allow us to stream some of the most popular eSports such as Fortnite and League of Legends across our network of Australian cinema outlets.
“In doing so, [we will] support Hoyts’ drive to become the standout destination for eSports fans to enjoy top class action all year round.”
Young and rapidly growing audience
eSports is multiplayer video games played competitively for spectators and according to Goldman Sachs has a monthly global audience of about 167 million people.
This audience is expected to grow by 65% over the next four years to 276 million viewers and has one of the fastest growing fan bases in professional sports, with an audience size already rivalling that of major league baseball in the United States.
eSports fans are typically young with 79% of viewers under the age of 35.
Asia is home to the fastest growing audience, where viewers typically watch eSports events on platforms such as YouTube and Twitch.