If you have something people want to watch online today, you can often make a lot of money from it. Whether you're doing dumb stunts on Youtube, streaming a popular game with solid commentary or running some sort of tournament for people to view. It can make big money. Twitch knows this, and that's why it purportedly paid as much as $90 million for the rights to broadcast the upcoming Overwatch League games exclusively on its platform.
This deal will cover the first two years of the professional scene, giving Twitch access to regional competitions and the major tournaments. That makes it easy for gamers, who can consume all of their Overwatch action via one source, but also means Twitch will net all of that advertising revenue from viewers tuning in. The only territory that the game isn't being exclusively broadcast on Twitch is in China.
Activision's MLG.TV will also show half of the standard season matches.
This $90 million deal is similar to the one put together by Riot Games and BamTech in 2016 for exclusive League of Legends streaming, though that was larger at a reported $300 million according to PCGamesN.
A further component of this deal will give viewers exclusive access to in-game items. Although details of "insider content," have been kept quite quiet for now, Twitch has said it will be looking to reward the biggest fans with certain items, cheering emotes and more.
The Overwatch League is set to begin on Wednesday, January 10 and 16:00 PST.