Report: Twitch Signs Two-Year Deal With Overwatch League Worth At Least $90 Million

Photo Credit: Joe Scarnici/Getty 
Photo Credit: Joe Scarnici/Getty 

Overwatch League’s two-year deal to stream its matches on Twitch is the biggest such contract in esports history, worth at least $90 million, according to a new report from Sports Business Journal.

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Twitch will stream all regular season and postseason contests and serve as the sole broadcaster for half of the league’s 12 weekly matches, while the others will be simultaneously streamed on Major League Gaming, the platform owned by Overwatch publisher Activision-Blizzard. Preseason matches were broadcast exclusively on MLG—which has not offered any viewership statistics—but the regular season matches that begin tomorrow will be the first to stream on Twitch.

The annual value of the deal just edges out that of the seven-year, $300 million contract that League of Legends’ Riot Games signed with BAMTech in 2016. That deal had nothing to do with streaming League and was just for what SBJ calls “joint tech-development and commercialization.” It’s unclear how much of the $90 million Twitch is paying Blizzard is going towards OWL streaming, or what else would be included in the contract. Compete is in attendance at the debut of the Overwatch League; if you know anything else about this deal, find our reporters there or tip us.

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[Sports Business Journal]

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DISCUSSION

spikereynolds
SpikeReynolds

Is incredibly interesting seeing the owners of these OWL teams saying that having 20k-40k regular viewers in the first couple of years is seen as something good, while Twitch invests 90 million on it for those same 2 years. For context, 20-40k regular viewers is what a top daily twitch streamer gets on average, kinda weird that Twitch is investing a ridiculous amount of money on something that a random guy with a webcam in his room can achieve. And this isn’t even an exclusive broadcasting deal, Blizzard is still streaming on their own platform (MLG) and they will push their players to watch on their own platform by direct linking it in the game.

And apparently some at Twitch agree with this according to Rod Breslau (aka Slasher) “There are some people within Twitch that felt the company should not spend a dime on this deal.”

And with this investment, 330 million dollars are being injected into an esport that highest viewership was 300k during Blizzcon which widely inflates the viewership of every blizz title.