YouTube Paid A Ton of Money for Call of Duty and Overwatch League Rights

A new report reveals how much YouTube paid Activision Blizzard for the exclusive streaming to the League, Call of Duty League, and Hearthstone tournaments. The deal is worth nearly twice as much as the $90 million Twitch paid for Overwatch League streaming rights two years ago.

The Esports Observer cites anonymous sources who claim that YouTube paid Activision Blizzard $160 million for the rights to stream the company’s esports events for the next three years. The largest part of that figure is for Overwatch League which is not surprising as viewers of the league have spent a huge amount of money cheering on their favorite teams on Twitch. This could help YouTube sell more ads. Call of Duty League, which launched this year, is the second part of the figure while Hearthstone was just given to YouTube for free, revealed sources.

There could be much more money coming to Activision Blizzard as the deal has several targets. If it hits these targets for ad sales and viewership then more money could go to Activision Blizzard and the Overwatch League teams which is why teams are so happy about the deal, said the report.

Overwatch League viewers had criticized Activision Blizzard for the YouTube deal as the companies haven’t provided any details on how the Overwatch League All-Access Pass will work on YouTube. Fans also want to know what will happen to the cheering with Bits feature. However, as Activision Blizzard and the Overwatch League teams are happy, it seems unlikely that fan criticism will change anything.

The Overwatch League may only be a couple of years old but it has shown itself to be a huge money maker for Activision Blizzard. Other reports have revealed that Activision Blizzard asks for as much as $60 million to create a new Overwatch League team. This year’s Overwatch League season added eight new teams which means that it made Activision Blizzard $800 million before it started.

YouTube has been spending a large amount of money and getting more streamers and events to use its site. It signed LazarBeam, Muselk, and Valkyrie to exclusive streaming deals as it tries to become a bigger streaming site than Twitch, Mixer, and Facebook Gaming. It’s unclear if YouTube will really be able to take down sites like Twitch, but it will probably keep on spending millions of dollars to keep trying.


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