After celebrating one full year under Microsoft management, streaming platform Mixer announced it has struck a media deal with ESL to provide esports programming. The announcement states it will bring “15,000 hours of programming from some of the highest level competitive games, including Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, and Dota 2.”
ESL currently has an exclusive broadcast deal with Facebook for tournaments in the ESL One circuit, which includes DOTA 2 and CS:GO broadcasts in English and Portuguese. Few details of the Mixer partnership were released and as there was no mention of exclusivity it’s likely this will not affect the Facebook deal. Mixer currently provides replays of ESL’s CS:GO Pro League, but no live stream. This new deal could be similar for ESL One events.
Mixer began as “Beam” in 2016, it was then acquired and renamed by Microsoft in May 2017. The platform has become a competitor to Twitch as it provides “sub-zero” latency and viewer interactions. As Mixer has grown under the Microsoft brand it recently struck another broadcast deal with Hi-Rez to exclusively broadcast the SMITE Pro League and Console Series. The company has also recently built a studio in New York City where it holds regular open tournaments.
The partnership announcement states the deal will begin with content from ESL One Cologne in July and ESL National Championships in Germany, Poland, Spain, United Kingdom, Brazil, Italy, France, Australia & Turkey.
Esports Insider says: Media rights are BIG money makers in esports right now. As more platforms are reaching into esports it’s difficult to read between the lines of what these partnerships actually mean for the platform and the tournament organizer. Mixer is quickly becoming a hot contender to Twitch especially after being bought out by Microsoft. Esports partnerships like these can certainly push it over the edge as long as it keeps the content unique to bring in new viewers.