Call of Duty League’s 2023 Season Starts Tomorrow With Reportedly No Stream Platform Deal in Place
On Friday, December 2, the Major One qualifiers, which will begin with a 2 p.m. CT online match between Boston Breach and Atlanta FaZe, are scheduled to formally launch the 2023 Call of Duty League season. However, there is reportedly no agreement in place for a streaming platform, raising concerns about how the matches will be broadcast with less than 24 hours to go.
The previous streaming deal between the CDL and Google (via YouTube) expired at the end of the 2022 season and there is no current media deal with any platform in place, according to Kevin Hitt of the Sports Business Journal. Google signed a three-year, $160 million deal to be the exclusive broadcast partner for both the CDL and the Overwatch League at the start of 2020, streaming the competition for both leagues over the next three seasons.
It’s worth noting that the partnership between the CDL and YouTube was also announced on the day of Launch Weekend for the league’s inaugural season in 2020, which means a same-day announcement for streaming rights for 2023 and beyond tomorrow wouldn’t be considered shocking.
There have been no announcements regarding streaming platforms for the CDL in the months that have followed the conclusion of the 2022 CDL Championship in August. All the promotional materials for upcoming matches don’t make any mention of where fans can watch the matches, although the main CDL Twitter page still has the CDL YouTube channel listed as its homepage.
There has been “general concern over less-than-stellar viewership statistics” since the move to YouTube and “both YouTube and Twitch are unwilling to put up the money they have in previous years,” according to sources that spoke to Hitt and SBJ. Prior to the YouTube deal, Twitch was the exclusive streaming partner of OWL, which came at a reported cost of $90 million.
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