Twitch is launching a new sports category as it continues its push into non-video game content. The category will be home to existing NBA, NHL, NWSL, and UFC content already on the platform. European soccer teams Arsenal, Real Madrid, Juventus, and Paris Saint-Germain will also join with their own streams and channels. It is also launching its own ‘twitchsports’ channel that will highlight broadcasts and content on the platform.
Amazon, which acquired Twitch for nearly $1 billion in 2014, streams Thursday Night Football and the English Premier League in the U.K. on the platform. Twitch controls 76% of the live-streaming market with 17.5 million daily users and could prove to be a useful tool as Amazon pushes further into sports broadcasting.
There has been an increase in Amazon job listings focused on adding live programming to Prime Video, which could help separate it from on-demand video services like Netflix. Amazon also recently started streaming live news channels through its Fire TV devices.
Sports have traditionally kept consumers tethered to cable subscriptions, but the pandemic’s forced hiatus could accelerate the shift of sports rights to streaming networks and platforms like Twitch – especially as traditional rights holders are using sports as a way to drive subscribers to their own OTT services like NBCUniversal’s Peacock and CBS’s CBS All Access.