Activision Blizzard has inked a deal with Google to make YouTube the exclusive streaming provider for its esports leagues and events.
The partnership sees YouTube become the sole provider of streaming content for Activision Blizzard's popular live esports offerings, including Call of Duty League, Overwatch League and Hearthstone Esports. Google’s YouTube platform will become Activision Blizzard's streaming partner worldwide for all territories, excluding China.
"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," says Ryan Wyatt, head, 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."
The YouTube deal comes ahead of the Call of Duty League season, which kicked off earlier this month and the Overwatch League's 2020 season, which will begin in early February. All competitions will be live-streamed on each league's YouTube channel and will include archived and other exclusive content as part of the newly announced partnership.
"This is an exciting year for Activision Blizzard Esports as we head into the inaugural season of Call of Duty League and our first-ever season of homestands for Overwatch League all around the world," says Pete Vlastelica, chief executive officer, Activision Blizzard Esports. "It's our mission to deliver high-quality, competitive entertainment that our fans can follow globally, live or on-demand, and celebrate our players as the superstars that they are. This partnership will help us deliver on that promise at new levels, by combining our passionate communities of fans and players with YouTube's powerful content platform and exciting history of supporting next-generation entertainment."
Along with the streaming collaboration, Google also announced that Google Cloud would become the preferred provider for Activision Blizzard's game hosting infrastructure moving forward. The hosting deal follows a close partnership that Activision Blizzard developed with Google over its mobile titles.
"We've worked closely with Activision Blizzard for the past few years across mobile titles to boost its analytics capabilities and overall player experience," says Sunil Rayan, head, gaming, Google Cloud. "We are excited to now expand our relationship and help power one of the largest and most renowned game developers in the world."
Google has become a leader in hosting services for many years. Just last year, the company leveraged its expansive datacenter footprint to launch a fully streaming video game platform called Stadia.