When it comes to broadcasting esports the first name that pops into everyone’s mind is Twitch. But YouTube may try and want to change that according to different sources. As the news spread, a 3 year exclusivity deal between the huge online video platform and the Call of Duty League is in talks.
Esports has become the battlefield for big livestreaming services. This time, the focus is put on the North-American esports circuit as it might be looking to go down the same road again. It had gone this path before in 2019 at the same time Blizzard’s Overwatch did. However, this was far from successful given that the Overwatch League (OWL) viewership plummeted and it lost great popularity in the following years. Apparently, this alone may not make Activision Blizzard step down as the deal could be renewed sooner than expected.
YouTube has made continuous but insufficient efforts to compete with Twitch as an interactive livestreaming platform. Esports has been a gateway for Justin.tv and later on Twitch to users who follow popular leagues and tournaments. An ever increasing entertainment industry that could help boost YouTube.
Since switching to Twitch in 2022, the CDL was given new life in comparison to previous seasons. With the participation of big creators streaming the debut, numbers went even higher. The league managed to attract 124K Average Viewers, and 192K Peak Viewers during Florida Mutineers and OpTic Texas’ game.
Many services have tried to top Twitch before: Microsoft’s Mixer had exclusivity deals with top streamers like Shroud and Ninja and still failed the task. It ended up shutting down and passing the torch to Facebook Gaming, which hasn’t got close either.
However, this exclusivity deal isn’t something fans have been asking for and it could even be greeted with discomfort. As we mentioned earlier, Twitch is the undisputed king of livestreaming experiences and so have shown the numbers. Activision Blizzard’s intent of closing in on a deal with YouTube once again is only met with confusion. In case it does go down, the next Major events will most likely reflect this switch. Majors 3, 4, 5, and the CDL Championship would all be viewable exclusively on YouTube.