As Call of Duty esports fans eagerly geared up for the Launch Weekend of the inaugural Call of Duty League, they were left with one burning question: Where are we meant to watch it?
That’s because until just a couple of hours before the event was set to begin, there was no official word from the league as to where the action would be shown. But at the eleventh hour, the announcement was made: The Call of Duty League will be streamed exclusively on YouTube, as part of a deal with Activision Blizzard that would also see Overwatch League and Hearthstone esports be shown on the platform.
Whether it was poor communication from the Call of Duty League or that the actual finalising of the deal went down to the wire is still unclear. However, The Esports Observer now reports that the massive deal, which sees YouTube show CDL, OWL, and Hearthstone events for the next three years, is worth a whopping $160 million.
Despite not being able to give an exact breakdown of how much each esport was worth in that $160 million, The Esports Observer’s sources claim that the rights for the Overwatch League were the biggest slice of the deal, with the Call of Duty League being far less and Hearthstone essentially being a “free throw-in.”
The Call of Duty League has arrived!
Watch the world’s best players compete live at https://t.co/wmB1gxuPFf
Action starts today 4:30pm ET/9:30pm GMT#CDL2020 pic.twitter.com/U2Xg2eE33s
— Call of Duty League (@CODLeague) January 24, 2020
Franchising and running its titles’ esports operations has seen Activision Blizzard rake in a lot of cash.
With spots in OWL having gone for anywhere between $20 million for the original teams and potentially $60 million for post-expansion teams, that will have generated at least $400 million.
The 12 spots in the CDL, which were available for $25 million each, will have generated $300 million.
Combined with the $160 million from the YouTube deal, franchising has so far generated at least £860 million, conservatively. That figure will likely surpass $1 billion if there is further expansion of OWL and CDL.