Call of Duty League to broadcast exclusively on YouTube despite growing numbers on Twitch

11 December 2023


Call of Duty League logo
Image Credit: Call of Duty League / Activision Blizzard

The Activision Blizzard-owned Call of Duty League (CDL) will be broadcast exclusively on YouTube for its upcoming season, the league has announced.

This marks the second time around that the CDL has decided to air exclusively on the Google-owned video platform. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The news comes at the start of the newest Call of Duty League competitive season, which saw its Opening Weekend tournament played earlier this month.

The League, which launched in 2020, was broadcasted exclusively on YouTube for the first three years of its life due to a partnership between Activision Blizzard and YouTube.

In late 2022, the League announced that it would become available on Twitch as well as YouTube, due to the end of the exclusivity agreement. The move was met with praise by the CDL community at the time, and reflected positively on the League’s viewership, helping the League’s 2023 season become its most-watched to date. According to data platform Esports Charts, six of the top 10 CDL events in history took place in 2023.

Additionally, Esports Charts data shows that viewers preferred to watch the CDL on Twitch over YouTube. For example, out of the total 294,178 peak viewers tuning in to the CDL 2023 Playoffs, more than 238,000 watched via Twitch, compared to 58,000 on YouTube.

ESJ long banner

The Call of Duty League did not mention the reasoning for another exclusivity agreement with YouTube, only sharing that in-game rewards will be available for YouTube viewers. Fans on social media sites speculated that the deal may have been an attempt to bring in much-needed league revenue.

Call of Duty is one of the best-selling video game franchises in history. Franchise slots for the CDL reportedly cost upward of $20m (~£16m).

Ivan Šimić
Ivan comes from Croatia, loves weird simulator games, and is terrible at playing anything else. Spent 5 years writing about tech and esports in Croatia, and is now doing it here.