YouTube to take on live-streaming once again after losing bid to buy Twitch

25 Mar 2015

After missing out on the purchase of game streaming channel Twitch, YouTube is attempting to do its own thing and re-launch its live-streaming platform with an emphasis on the growing esports market.

The Google-owned site appeared close to making a purchase of Twitch for a fee close to US$1bn, but it was later revealed that Amazon had beaten them to it for a sum believed to be close to US$970m.

The site has effectively cornered the market when it comes to esports – major gaming tournaments with cash prizes – and YouTube are now beginning to see that their decision to pull its live-streaming platform from its homepage last year might have proven a little hasty, according to sources close to The Daily Dot.

Speaking to the website, one source within YouTube said of their intentions, “Gaming and esports in particular are going to be a big driving force for the new-look YouTube Live.

He continued, “There’ll be huge opportunities for established streamers and organizations soon and I would say that the record numbers of esports viewers are only going to grow when Google start promoting and partnering with these events.”

Sports and esports

For a period of four years beginning in 2010, YouTube broadcasted a number of sporting events, most notably the Indian Premier League, the country’s premier cricket league, for free online while also broadcasting esports tournaments such as the League of Legends Championship Series back in 2013.

Despite its efforts however, this petered out sometime last year with all reference to live-streaming being omitted from the homepage, but the site are hoping to score a major coup with the news that the NFL in the US is looking to stream a live game online for the first time in its history, with YouTube being touted as a potential host.

Google and YouTube are expected to make a formal announcement of their intentions at the next major gaming event, E3, which gets underway in the US on 16 June.

Esports image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic