ESPN 2 has aired competitive hot dog eating, log cutting, and a lot of boring poker. Still, it surprised me that ESPN 2 aired a brief bit on Dota 2's The International, and that the online-based ESPN 3 aired the entire competition.
According to a source speaking to The Daily Dot, ESPN was "delighted" with how Dota 2 performed in terms of ratings and is ready to buy in. "ESPN have seen enough recent successes with eSports and are about to double down," the source said. "The numbers they hit with The International have only cemented the view that the time is right."
ESPN recently partnered with MLG for a Call of Duty event at the Austin X Games, though none of that was aired on its network. Could be that Call of Duty starts popping up on ESPN 3 (or even 2) soon. The audience is definitely right.