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- YouTube will be the exclusive streaming partner of the Overwatch League, Call of Duty League, Hearthstone esports, and more.
- Google Cloud will be the preferred provider for Activision Blizzard Game Hosting.
- This deal replaces the now expired exclusive streaming deal Activision Blizzard has with overwatchTwitch in regards to its Overwatch League.
In an announcement just hours before the start of Activision Blizzard’s new Call of Duty League, the company revealed that it and Google have entered into a multi-year strategic relationship. The partnership will see Google Cloud serve as the preferred provider for Activision Blizzard’s game hosting infrastructure and YouTube as its exclusive streaming partner worldwide. However, the deal is excluding China, for live broadcasts of its popular esports leagues and events — including Overwatch League, Call of Duty League, Hearthstone Esports, and more.
“We’re excited to partner with Google to drive the next generation of gaming innovation for the industry. Google Cloud’s best-in-class infrastructure gives us the confidence to deliver great entertainment to our fans around the world,” said Jacques Erasmus, Chief Information Officer, Activision Blizzard.
According to the release, Activision Blizzard sought a partner to help enhance its gaming infrastructure, as well as deliver low-latency player experiences. Among the reasons the company turned to Google Cloud is because of its “highly reliable global footprint, advanced data analytics and artificial intelligence capabilities, and commitment to open source, creating a platform for building future gaming innovations.”
YouTube will be the exclusive streaming platform of Activision Blizzard’s popular esports leagues and events including the newly created Call of Duty League, Overwatch League, Hearthstone Esports, and more. The first broadcast can be seen on Friday, Jan. 24, with 12 teams competing in Minnesota. Season three of the Overwatch League will follow on Feb. 8.
“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,” said Ryan Wyatt, Head of Gaming, YouTube. “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.”
This new streaming deal comes after the expiration of Blizzard Activision’s Overwatch League streaming deal where Twitch paid $90M USD for the rights.