Twitch has gradually become a key place to watch live sports and content over the past year, and Amazon is now acknowledging its push for sports dominance with the launch of a sports category on Twitch. The standalone sports category will include streams from soccer clubs like Arsenal and Real Madrid, with Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain set to follow. Twitch’s new sports category will also play home to the existing NBA, NHL, RFL, UFC, and NWSL content that’s available on the platform.
Twitch is also relaunching its twitchsports channel today to highlight broadcasts and programming. The relaunch includes a showcase today, hosted by Major League Soccer star Jimmy Conrad, that will cover the NBA, UFC, Arsenal, and House of Highlights using two-hour slots to demonstrate the type of sports content Twitch has to offer.
Amazon has been gradually positioning Twitch for sports coverage
The new sports category on Twitch comes just weeks after Amazon streamed Premier League soccer free on Twitch for the first time. Amazon also streams Thursday Night Football on Twitch, and has secured the German rights to a package of UEFA Champions League matches. Twitch also signed a deal last year to become the official streaming partner for USA Basketball. All of the deals are clearly designed to position Twitch to appeal to audiences beyond its core gaming and esports content.
Twitch also offers the opportunity for individual sports stars to stream direct to their fans. British Formula 1 driver Lando Norris became the youngest ever Brit to stand on a Formula 1 podium earlier this month, and he’s a regular Twitch streamer. Norris uses his phone to stream behind the scenes looks at the planning and preparation phases for races, sometimes just minutes before he’s about to start practice laps. He’s also streamed his escapades in PUBG and Call of Duty: Warzone. Los Angeles Charger Austin Ekeler and a trio of WWE Superstars also use Twitch to reach fans.