Blizzard has agreed to grant exclusive third-party streaming rights to Twitch for the worldwide coverage of the Overwatch League.
The deal will be entertained for two years and will have the streaming giant alone in showing six of the twelve weekly matches during a season. The broadcasting platform of Major League Gaming (MLG) will join Twitch to cover the remaining matches.
Overwatch League will be streamed on Twitch in English, Korean, and French. The audience will be entitled to receive “unique in-game items” during the broadcast, with more details to become available soon.
“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,” Blizzard COO Armin Zerza said in a statement. “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.”
According to Esports Observer, Twitch will be paying Blizzard a sum of $90 million over the next two years for the exclusive streaming rights. The deal is said to cover various other aspects that are not directly linked to the Overwatch League, and involve joint tech-development and commercialization.
The figure looks small in front of the seven-year, $300 million streaming deal struck between Riot Games and BAMTech for League of Legends back in 2016. However, sources state that both are comparable in terms of annual revenue.
The first stage of matches for the inaugural season of the Overwatch League officially start on January 10 at the Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles. Tickets for the opening day have already sold out, but the rest of the weeks are still available.