The professional esports league for popular shooter Call of Duty is reportedly in talks with YouTube to bring its matches back to the platform exclusively.
First reported by Dexerto, and citing "sources close to the situation", the Call of Duty League could renew a three-year deal with YouTube to show its matches exclusively. The CDL launched in 2019 with the announcement that the esports league would stream on YouTube exclusively and the three-year deal has come to an end. For the 2023 Modern Warfare 2 season, the CDL returned to streaming on Twitch but an exclusivity deal wasn't signed.
Dexerto says sources familiar with the situation have told it that the Call of Duty League may be signing a renewed three-year partnership with YouTube with the esports organisation switching to the platform after this week's Major 2 in Boston. That would mean viewers will be watching matches on YouTube starting with Major 3 Qualifiers and continuing through to Majors 4 and 5 all the way to the CDL Championship.
But the switch may not be welcomed by many quarters. Since the Call of Duty League switched to Twitch its viewership figures have risen substantially, especially compared to seasons past, and this increase has been driven by massive watch parties hosted by the likes of Seth 'Scump' Abner and Thomas 'ZooMaa' Paparatto — both of whom are top creators with the likes of Scump providing insightful commentary as he was a celebrated CoD competitor (now retired).
Presumably these two creators would prefer to stay on Twitch so it is unclear just how a switch back to YouTube would go ahead but perhaps some kind of deal turn out whereby the commentators could livestream the YouTube matches on Twitch, but this is speculation at this stage. A return to YouTube may not be welcomed by the CoD esports community since many had preferred the CDL being on Twitch. But we should hear soon if the CDL does ink a new three-year deal with YouTube.
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