The other day, we reported the news that Twitch has paired up with Blizzard to become the exclusive broadcast partner for the forthcoming Overwatch League, which kicks off with its first match later today. What we didn't know, however, is just how badly Twitch wanted to become said partner.
VentureBeat recently tweeted out that the popular broadcasting channel actually paid some big bucks in order to become the exclusive home of Overwatch League. How much, you ask? Roughly $90 million.
"UPDATE: Twitch paid $90,000,000 to be the exclusive broadcast home of Overwatch League," the tweet reads. To put that in perspective, that's nearly a tenth of what Twitch sold to Amazon for, as that company it was bought for $970 million back in 2014. (Neither Blizzard nor Twitch have confirmed this dollar amount yet.)
Twitch has been making some big moves since that time, running stream marathons of popular shows like Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Starcade, and finding new partners with esports competitions. But the Overwatch League is clearly one of its biggest investments – if not the biggest investment – by the company to date.
Overwatch League does involve a number of big esports superstars, as well as big investors behind each of the teams, and it promises the kind of worldwide action that competitive fans have been waiting for. Whether it will be successful or not has yet to be seen, but Blizzard believes it will be a huge leap forward for the world of esports competition – and Twitch seems to have faith in them as well.
This comes on top of a previously made deal between Blizzard and Twitch that would make it the premiere partner for competitions based on Overwatch, Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm, and this deal solidifies said partnership even further. It wouldn't surprise us in the least if Twitch ended up having a bigger presence at this year's upcoming BlizzCon as a result.
We'll see how the Overwatch League pans out over the next few months, but we certainly wish all those involved, competitors and partners alike, the best of luck. Blizzard could be on to something big here, and with the right level of hype, it could take competition to another level.