Over the past year, Twitch has doubled down on the content it has provided to its audience. In July, the social video platform partnered with Crunchyroll to bring its fans an anime marathon; that same month it partnered with Niantic to live-stream a Pokemon Go Festival; in August, it expanded its live-streaming offering by partnering with Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide; and the Amazon-owned platform has even offered live-streams of major political events, like the James Comey Hearings, on its fairly new news channel, Twitch News. Now, the company is expanding its content offering once again with a multiyear partnership with Chess.com.
Under the agreement, Twitch will provide content and marketing support in order to attract additional fans, players, and sponsorships for online chess. The partnership is intended to help develop a better ecosystem of chess content for chess.com users, as well as fans of chess on Twitch. It is also expected to improve monetization opportunities for chess.com content creators.
“Chess, like competitive video games and Poker, is a spectator sport that people like to watch live, making it ideal for Twitch,” said Michael Aragon, SVP of Content at Twitch. “Since our community thrives on interacting in real time with pros who are at the top of their craft, we look forward to seeing chat light up over the best chess plays and strategies.”
This isn’t the first time the two companies have worked together. Chess.com and Twitch teamed in early October to host the world chess champion, Magnus Carlsen, in his Speed Chess Championship match on Oct. 4. Its unclear how many people Twitch expects to add to its audience through this new arrangement, the company would not comment on projections, but explained that they “wouldn’t put this level of support into a project if [they] didn’t envision it being successful.” Of course success can mean different thing to different companies. As far as Carlsen’s Championship Chess match was concerned, viewership peaked at nearly 200,000 live views. Carlsen is set to be back on Nov. 18 when he will face off with top American chess player Wesley So.