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Volume 24 No. 154
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Sources: Overwatch League-Twitch Deal Worth At Least $90M

The Overwatch League will receive at least $90M over two years from Twitch in exchange for streaming rights, sources said. The deal, announced earlier today, is believed to be the biggest exclusive distribution deal in esports history. Twitch will show every regular-season and postseason contest for OWL, which starts play tomorrow night, and develop reward programs and new virtual merchandise for viewers. Overwatch publisher Activision-Blizzard’s in-house platform MLG.tv will show half of the regular-season contests, but the dominant share of the audience will come via Twitch, which will stream in Korean, English and French everywhere except China.

The $90M figure may include other aspects of the Twitch-Blizzard relationship not attributable to the Overwatch League, sources said. In annual terms, the deal is comparable to the seven-year, $300M deal struck in late '16 by League of Legends publisher Riot Games with BAMTech. That deal is exclusive on joint tech-development and commercialization, not competition coverage. Twitch and Overwatch League officials declined comment.

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