The deal announced minutes before the kickoff of the Call of Duty League that has Activision Blizzard esports exclusively streaming on YouTube was worth a reported $160 million. The deal grants YouTube exclusive broadcast rights to the Overwatch League, pro Hearthstone, and the Call of Duty League.
As our sister site The Loadout notes, sources have informed The Esports Observer that the multi-year exclusivity deal between Google and Activision Blizzard is valued at about $160 million (£123 million). The Esports Observer did not have specific numbers about the value of each individual esport, but a rough breakdown suggests that the Overwatch League represents the lion’s share, with a lesser but “still notable amount” devoted to the Call of Duty League. Hearthstone was “essentially a free throw-in for YouTube,” the sources say.
The Esports Observer further reports that the YouTube deal includes incentive clauses for ad sales and viewership targets, which provide financial bonuses for leagues and teams if these goals are met. Without those bonuses, however, the Overwatch League won’t see an increase in its baseline contract over the former deal with Twitch.
The Loadout estimates that Activision Blizzard has now generated about £860 million through franchising at the very least, and that figure is likely to surpass the billion pound mark should the Call of Duty or Overwatch leagues continue to expand.