In a monumental step for professional women’s hockey, the National Women’s Hockey League today announced an exclusive streaming partnership with Twitch. The three-year agreement makes Twitch – the world’s leading live streaming platform for gamers and the things they love – the exclusive live-streaming partner of the NWHL.
“With its accessible players and devoted fans, the NWHL is a perfect fit for Twitch in our global efforts to grow our traditional sports verticals,” said Jane Weedon, Head of New Verticals at Twitch. “We are proud to partner with the league in its mission to build the professional women’s hockey league the athletes and fans deserve.”
Beginning with the 2019-20 season starting Oct. 5, Twitch will stream all NWHL regular season, Isobel Cup Playoff and special event games. The league and Twitch will collaborate on innovative content that increases the deep connection between NWHL players and fans. Twitch will also work closely with the NWHL to provide new fan engagement opportunities that enhance the live game viewing experience.
All NWHL games and programming will be available on Twitch at www.twitch.tv/nwhl. Fans will be able to watch every NWHL game, free of charge, from anywhere, on any device. Best of all, they will be able to engage with other fans throughout the games, and–at times–with the players, broadcasters, and other NWHL influencers.
In addition, the NWHL is receiving a broadcast rights fee for the first time in its young history. As part of the NWHL-NWHL Players’ Association agreement, revenue from this exclusive streaming partnership with Twitch will be split in half with NWHL players, which will result in additional income beyond their salaries for playing.
“The official announcement of our partnership with Twitch makes this a historic day for the NWHL, our players, fans and everyone who supports the advancement of women’s hockey,” said NWHL Commissioner Dani Rylan, who started the league in 2015. “The live broadcasts of every single NWHL game on Twitch will allow us to both foster and grow our current community while introducing professional hockey to a new audience for the first time. Twitch’s platform also provides our fans and players the unique opportunity to collaborate on the viewing experience.”
Twitch has more than 15 million active daily users and its free mobile app has over 56 million downloads. The versatile platform has broadcasting arrangements with other professional sport leagues, including the NFL and the NBA G League.
“I am extremely proud that the innovators at Twitch are moving forward alongside us,” said NWHL Players’ Association executive director Anya Battaglino. “This is a huge step for women’s hockey. Getting visibility on professional women’s hockey has been extremely important. The more eyes on the women’s game, the more fans we convert. Women’s hockey is at a monumental time right now, and the more we can showcase this product, the stronger our foundation becomes. The NWHLPA is excited to have our players highlighted around the world, and for fans of the game to have an even deeper access to us.”