CDL Could Sign Exclusivity Deal with YouTube, Report Claims


It was recently claimed that the Call of Duty League could be setting up for a return to YouTube. For the 2023 season, the CDL reverted to Twitch as the primary host for its content, and it went remarkably well. From the drops campaigns to the general stability of the streams, everything seemed positive about the Call of Duty League being broadcasted on Twitch. Now, if reports are to be believed, the CDL is set to sign a deal with YouTube that’ll make the competition exclusive to the platform for the next two years.

Last night, some changes that are being made to Twitch’s terms of service were aired, causing concern amongst streamers on the platform. It’s the latest in a long line of controversies to surface on the site, and it could go some way to explaining why Activision Blizzard wants to abandon Twitch in favour of YouTube. Of course, it could just be that YouTube offered the firm more money in order to secure the media rights to the CDL.

Will The CDL Suffer On YouTube?

call of duty league

Image Credit: Activision Blizzard

When it comes to the best esports tournaments in the business, Twitch has been king for quite some time. In the last few months – as the 2023 season played out – the Call of Duty League has seen record-high viewership figures, and that’s partly thanks to the popularity of Twitch. It’s also thanks to the fact that some of the biggest names in the game – like Seth ‘Scump’ Abner – host super-popular watch parties every time the CDL goes live.

For the most part, the changes being made to the Twitch platform impact streamers and not viewers. There’s still a top-tier experience to be had by those tuning in to watch an event unfold – and that will remain unchanged. At present, the reports – which were kicked off by Dexerto – have very little in the way of a foundation, especially considering the blowback from some of the biggest names in the CDL, such as Hector ‘H3CZ’ Rodriguez, the CEO of OpTic Gaming, who said:

But then – at roughly the same time – Matthew ‘Nadeshot’ Haag, the CEO of 100 Thieves, spoke as though the deal might be on the table but at the same time, it isn’t worthwhile:

In the esports industry, it’s tough for organisations to make money. There is some money to be made through media rights, such as those put forward in this alleged deal, but according to Nadeshot, that sum isn’t even worth the transition to YouTube. Reportedly, a few years ago, YouTube struck a deal worth some $90 million to gain exclusivity to both the Overwatch League and the Call of Duty League. When this deal had run its course, the CDL migrated to Twitch, and everything has gone well ever since.

If this monumental change turns out to be real, we’ll see it come into effect in the next season. For now, we sit happily and await the Call of Duty League Championship.

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