Twitch signs broadcasting deal with Overwatch League
The deal is estimated to be worth at least US$90 million.
Overwatch League (OWL) and Twitch have signed the biggest contract in esports history today, a deal with an estimated worth of US$90 million. As deals go in esports, this is a historic media-rights partnership. Twitch will ensured that every match of the world’s first major global city-based sport will be available to fans across the globe.
The deal dictates that Twitch will stream all regular season and post-season contests, acting as the sole broadcaster for half of the league’s weekly matches. The other half of the matches will be streamed on Major League Gaming, a streaming platform owned by Activision, the publishers of Overwatch. The pre-season matches were all streamed on Major League Gaming, but the regular season started today on Twitch.
The total value of this deal comes out just above the previous largest esports broadcasting contract, a US$300 million contract that League of Legends Riot Games held with BAMTech in 2016. The annual value of the Overwatch League comes out higher, and with a successful season, Twitch stands to make more in deals down the line.
It remains unclear how much of the US$90 million is going towards the Overwatch League streaming, or what else was included in this contract. There will be more information on what OWL and Twitch are developing to come as the two work together to create and distribute content and additional rewards for fans. The two-year deal encompasses the entirety of the League’s first two seasons and promises to be broadcast worldwide, with the exception of China.
“Our fans love to engage with content on Twitch, and we wanted to drive significant viewership of the Overwatch League in its inaugural season and beyond,” said Armin Zerza, COO of Blizzard Entertainment. “That’s why this historic and ground-breaking partnership is perfectly suited for Activision Blizzard, for Twitch, and—most importantly—for our growing global fanbase.”
The first match of the Overwatch League’s inaugural season goes live on Twitch for Australia this Thursday 11 January over at Twitch.tv/overwatchleague.
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