Twitch Finally Embraces Sports With New Vertical
Twitch just dropped a big bundle of sports in our lap.
It’s always nice to get more content, especially as we sit in our pajamas, heading to one Zoom meeting after another as we await the start of the MLB and NBA seasons.
On Wednesday, our streaming schedule just expanded as the Amazon-owned streaming service announced the launch of a newfangled sports vertical.
The /twitchsports channel will bring more sports content to the masses in a way only Twitch can do, not only allowing for passive entertainment enjoyment but also engagement within the channel.
On Wednesday, the channel rolled out a slate of programming as sort of a red-carpet welcome to viewers new to the platform.
Leading off was former MLS and U.S. men’s national team player Jimmy Conrad who talked world soccer and the Premier League.
The plan is to introduce the channel through the day with two-hour slots of streaming from the NBA, Arsenal, House of Highlights and the UFC.
Sportico reports the vertical will adopt the use of co-streaming, allowing its users to simultaneously stream while enjoying their respective broadcast. It’s just one of the ways Twitch provides an immersive experience.
“The sports community on Twitch is home to some of the most passionate, die-hard fans you will find," Jane Weedon, director of new verticals at Twitch, told Sportico. "The category as a whole has been growing over the last couple of years, and it’s been incredible to see the response from fans and leagues as they’ve discovered how Twitch allows them to engage and interact with each other—even if they are physically on the other side of the world. This new category and focus on sports programming will give fans exclusive access to their favorite teams and athletes as they make their return to courts and fields.”
ESPN explains simple additions will make the sports viewing on Twitch much more seamless. For example, this vertical will now be accessible through browse. Prior, finding a live stream of sports would have been an online exercise in hide-and-seek.
The KBO, for example, continues to stream live games on the platform. While it’s not confirmed the KBO will get a nod on the new vertical, it’s an example of how difficult it has been to find sports streaming on the platform.
Aside from live streaming and highlights, ESPN and Sportico report the platform has deals with Real Madrid, Arsenal, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain for the clubs to produce exclusive content for viewers to enjoy.
This isn’t the first show of Twitch’s newfound love of sports. Earlier this month, Variety reported the service would also live-stream Entercom Communications’ sports radio talk shows, which includes those from stations such as Boston’s WEEI, New York’s WFAN 101.9 FM/660 AM, and Chicago’s 670 The Score.
Starting Wednesday, sports fans can enjoy a more immersive experience while they hop from already well-enjoyed channels such as those belonging to Kyle Long, Paul George, Meyers Leonard and Josh Hart.