Twitter is teaming up with some of the world’s top eSports companies as it continues to ink more and more live-streaming deals.
The company today announced a global partnership with three leading eSports event operators — ESL, DreamHack, and Intel Extreme Masters — to livestream more than 15 eSports events and 1,500 hours of programming, including a weekly 30-minute show exclusive to Twitter.
The partnership will kick off Saturday with Intel’s Katowice tournament streamed on Twitter for free.
“Esports is growing at a rapid pace and we see this collaboration as a way to tap into the engaged audience of gamers that are already using Twitter as a primary source of content,” Twitter COO Anthony Noto said in a statement. “By partnering with the leading esports companies like ESL and DreamHack, we look forward to bringing the best of esports live video and conversation together on Twitter.”
Twitter, which first began streaming eSports events last year, said it will sell advertising packages with “TV style ad spots” and highlight/recap clips “that advertisers can sponsor and promote on Twitter.”
Twitter is focusing heavily on live video content as it tries to add more monthly active users (it added just two million over the last quarter) and earn more revenue (it lost $400 million in 2016). The company live streamed 10 NFL games last season and partners with other top sports leagues like the NBA, MLB, and the PGA Tour; Twitter streamed 600 hours of live programming during Q4, with 50 percent of that sports-related. It also is looking at non sports-related content, as it has deals with media giants like Bloomberg and CBS.
Other companies like Amazon and Facebook, which may start streaming MLB games, are also looking to ink streaming deals with major leagues. With Twitter now streaming eSports, which will have an estimated audience of nearly 400 million this year, it will compete with Amazon-owned game-streaming site Twitch.