The floodgates are about to open on Twitch for professional wrestling broadcasts as the social networking streaming site just made its first deal with a wrestling organization. Wrestle Circus, a family-owned promotion based out of Austin, Texas, will be presenting their first major event on the service Saturday night.
Dive Hard With A Vengeance will be broadcast live on Twitch and start at 7pm EDT. This is basically uncharted territory as it's the first time wrestling fans can actually donate to a PPV if they enjoy the content through either a subscription (which starts at $5) or by cheering (Twitch's on-service payment system). If the event is even a remote success, this could kick open a couple of different doors.
The first one being that you could see smaller independent organizations utilize the service more frequently to help gain income for their shows, which would benefit a lot of people. The second being that it may be an alternative for some of the bigger known names like PWG and WCPW to find a new home beyond YouTube where they can get better exposure and streaming feeds than YouTube, who have already classified pro-wrestling as an unmonetizable source of entertainment.
Below are a couple of quotes from Twitch and Wrestle Circus about the partnership. If you're a fan of wrestling in general, this is a moment to keep your eyes on as it could dictate the future for some indie promotions moving forward.
"It's no secret that recent changes at one of the other major platforms have made it difficult for independent wrestling promotions to monetize their content," said Al Lenhart, Owner, Wrestle Circus. "By moving over to Twitch, it is a major step into uncharted and exciting territory that allows us to reach a global audience and monetize in both traditional and creative ways, without the hurdles we've experienced in the past."
"We frequently look to our community to guide us toward the content they want to see on our platform," said Eric Brunner, Sports Partnerships Lead, Twitch. "In the case of Wrestle Circus, they had been looking for a livestreaming platform where they could effectively monetize their content and help the broader wrestling scene, and it was members of our community who rallied them on social media to consider using Twitch. Since Wrestle Circus has the same passion for their fans and talent that we do for ours, it's really cool seeing them lead the charge with this new vertical."