Fox Sports' NASCAR esports race was a success, and it's betting that it can repeat that achievement with football. FS1 is planning to air its first ever Fox Esports Madden NFL Invitational on March 29th at 7PM Eastern. The two-hour event will pit players (remotely, of course) against each other in a single-elimination, three-round Madden NFL 20 tournament. There are only eight players, but they include a mix of analysts and pros such as Derwin James (above), Matt Leinart and Michael Vick.
The event will also encourage donations to the CDC Foundation's efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
As with the NASCAR event, this is prompted in part by desperation. The absence of conventional sports has left Fox without much of its live programming. While the situation isn't as dire as it is for stock car racing (the NFL season isn't due to start for months), this gives Fox something to reel in viewers who'd otherwise have to wait a while to see live sports. If the Madden tourney is successful, it could lead to more virtual sports during the downtime and might expose many more people to esports.