Esports Streaming Rights Battle Heats Up Between Twitch, Facebook, and YouTube

A battle is heating up between the major players in esports streaming. Twitch, Facebook, and YouTube are each vying for millions of guaranteed eyes through exclusive deals with major video game publishers.

The latest esports streaming deal announcement comes from Twitch and Blizzard. The two have inked a two-year deal that will put all Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, World of Warcraft, Starcraft 2, and Overwatch tournaments in the streaming network.

The deal even gives users an incentive to go Prime – free in-game content and other deals are on the table for Twitch Prime members. It makes sense, considering Starcraft 2 was reportedly the inspiration for the creation of Twitch. Blizzard also happens to produce four of the network’s most watched video games (Hearthstone, Overwatch, World of Warcraft, and Heroes of the Storm.)

The other players in the streaming game are looking for similar relationships, but they are not leaving it up to chance. YouTube jumped on a deal with FACEIT earlier this year. The deal gives YouTube exclusive rights to stream Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournaments in the coveted Esports Championship Series (ECS).

Facebook is doing everything they can to keep up. The social media giant signed streaming contracts with no less than five pro esports teams to try and make up the difference. The deals include on-demand video of practice and competitions but no major tournaments. Finally in May Facebook landed a deal comparable to those of the competition – rights to exclusive content from ESL.

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