Two years ago Twitch signed on Activision-Blizzard for a multi year exclusivity deal for streaming Overwatch. Activision-Blizzard decided to not renew the contract with Twitch but instead signed on with YouTube. The deal struck with YouTube will be another multi year contract. The new deal will make YouTube the sole streaming platform for all of Activision-Blizzard’s esports teams and events. This concludes esports coverage for Hearthstone, Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch. The exclusive deal covers global coverage excluding China.
We’re excited to partner with Google to drive the next generation of gaming innovation for the industry. Google Cloud’s best-in-class infrastructure gives us the confidence to deliver great entertainment to our fans around the world.
Activision-Blizzard cited that Google Cloud offered better data analytics and AI which would create a more stable streaming service. “We’ve worked closely with Activision Blizzard for the past few years across mobile titles to boost its analytics capabilities and overall player experience, we are excited to now expand our relationship and help power one of the largest and most renowned game developers in the world.” said, Sunil Rayan, the Head of Gaming for Google Cloud.
The Call of Duty league hosted its first seasonal match Friday and the Overwatch League will kickoff on the 8th of February. All broadcasts and archives will in their official YouTube channels. “This is an exciting year for Activision-Blizzard Esports as we head into the inaugural season of Call of Duty League and our first ever season of homestands for Overwatch League all around the world.” stated Activision Blizzard Esports CEO Pete Vlastelica.
The move to YouTube was not a small switch as Twitch as SportsBusiness Journal estimated that the 2018 deal was worth $90 million. The Overwatch League was in the top two most viewed streams on Twitch for 2019 along with Riot Games. It is currently unknown how much revenue the switch to YouTube is estimated to generate for Activision-Blizzard.