Twitter is adding another feather to its iconic blue bird. The social media network plans to live-stream more than 1,500 hours of competitive video game contests this year, with the first broadcast coming Saturday.
On Thursday, Twitter announced its partnership with ESL, one of the largest e-sports organizers, and DreamHack, which organizes video game festivals. Games include Tencent Holdings Ltd.'s League of Legends and Activision Blizzard Inc.'s StarCraft, both of which have massive global followings.
The deal bolsters Twitter's live-streaming presence and challenges competitors like Facebook, which became the exclusive broadcaster of Activision Blizzard's Heroes of the Dorm contest in January 2017. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but broadcasts will include traditional TV-style advertising and sponsored packages.
Tapping into e-sports is a smart move for Twitter. The industry is on track to make $696 million in global revenue, according to a report from intelligence firm Newzoo. And by 2020, it's expected to grow to $1.5 billion.
This is Twitter's latest partnership in a push to broadcast more live content. The company struck a reported $10 million deal with the NFL to stream 10 Thursday night football games last season. What's more, the social media network has deals with the Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, National Basketball League, and streamed content around the Academy Awards.
Lookout Facebook, Twitter may be coming for you.