Activision Blizzard will broadcast Call of Duty League, Overwatch League, and Hearthstone esports exclusively on YouTube.
This is part of a multi-year deal between Activision Blizzard and Google that also sees Google Cloud become the preferred provider of the developer’s game hosting infrastructure.
YouTube is now the exclusive streaming partner for Call of Duty League, Overwatch League, Hearthstone esports, and other titles worldwide, excluding China. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Pete Vlastelica, CEO of Activision Blizzard Esports, discussed the relationship in a release: “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. It’s our mission to deliver high-quality competitive entertainment that our fans can follow globally, live or on-demand, and to celebrate our players as the superstars that they are.
“This partnership will help us deliver on that promise at new levels, by combining our passionate communities of fans and players with YouTube’s powerful content platform and exciting history of supporting next-generation entertainment.”
Call of Duty League debuted on January 24th, with Overwatch League returning for its third season on February 8th. All events that comprise the leagues will be broadcast on YouTube for the entirety of the deal, in which the length hasn’t been disclosed at the time of writing.
Ryan Wyatt, Head of Gaming at YouTube, also commented on the deal: “With more than 200 million gamers a day watching more than 50 billion hours of gaming content per year, YouTube provides gamers and their passionate fans with the most popular video gaming platform in the world. Both the Overwatch League and Call of Duty League are the quintessential examples of world class esports content.
“As a former Call of Duty esports commentator myself, I couldn’t be more excited for Activision Blizzard to choose YouTube as its exclusive home for the digital live streaming of both leagues. This partnership further demonstrates our dedication to having a world class live streaming product for gaming.”
Esports Insider says: This is a major play by Google, Twitch is very much the typical streaming platform of choice in the West and this marks an effort to change that dynamic. It’s also a huge deal when it comes to infrastructure and other aspects of gaming that go beyond broadcasting.