It was revealed just hours ago that, as of right now, the Call of Duty League will be streamed exclusively on Twitch. This marks the first season to have split away from YouTube since 2020 following the expiration of a lucrative broadcast deal originally signed between Activision Blizzard and YouTube. For many, this is a controversial move, especially given the difficulties that the Twitch platform has experienced in the last year or so, but the change is done and there’s no going back.
For others, this is a wonderful decision, as Twitch has been the home for esports streams for quite some time now. Typically, every major tournament platform, from CSGO to League of Legends, broadcasts exclusively on Twitch. There were hopes that a multi-stream setup could be achieved, but it has been officially confirmed that, no, the Call of Duty League will only stream on Twitch.
In 2020, YouTube and Activision Blizzard inked a deal worth $180 million. At the core of this deal sat exclusive streaming rights for the Call of Duty League, Hearthstone esports, and most importantly, the Overwatch League. Since then, things have changed, and for the most part, those leagues just aren’t worth what they were ‘back then’. So, it comes as no surprise that Google was unwilling to extend or renew the exclusivity deal, and instead, the Call of Duty League will now evacuate the platform and move to Twitch.
It’s unknown as of yet how this will impact viewership figures, but there are expectations that things will improve. While YouTube’s gaming and esports scene has seen a considerable rise in recent months following a mass exodus from Twitch, it’s still lacking somewhat compared to Twitch. If we look back at the history of the League, we can see that the all-time peak in viewership occurred in 2020, when 330,000 concurrent viewers tuned in to watch the CDL Championship.
During the same event in 2020, the viewership peaked at around 275,000 viewers. Can the move to Twitch reinvigorate the numbers and bring more active viewers to the Call of Duty League?
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
This festive season, it’s all going to be about Call of Duty. It’s the earliest start in history for the Call of Duty League, and the action commences with a mega-event in Raleigh, North Carolina. From the 2nd to the 4th of December, the CDL, Challengers, and COD Mobile will all temporarily exist under the same roof for a super-sized Call of Duty event. It’s the most complex opening to a season we’ve ever seen, and it’s a taste of things to come.
As we move into 2023, the best Call of Duty players in the business will once again go on a whirlwind tour of North America. With each stage of the regular season, a Major will be held in a different location, with fans pouring in in their thousands to watch the action live.
We’ll be covering the entire end-to-end season right here at Esports.net, so be sure to stay connected!