Google's YouTube to buy streaming-video site Twitch for $1.25 billion

Google's YouTube to buy streaming-video site Twitch for $1.25 billion

Google Inc's YouTube unit has reached a deal to acquire videogame-streaming service Twitch for more than US$1 billion (S$1.25 billion), according to a report in Variety, the entertainment news publication.

The all-cash deal is expected to be announced "imminently,"according to the report on Sunday, which cited unnamed sources.

Officials at Google and Twitch declined to comment on the matter.

San Francisco-based Twitch allows consumers to broadcast live video streams of themselves playing videogames and includes social networking features that allow video game fans to communicate with each other during the broadcasts. The company says more than 45 million gamers visit its site every month.

Video games are among the most popular content on YouTube, the world's No. 1 video website.

In September, Twitch raised US$20 million in funding from Thrive Capital, WestSummit Capital and Take-Two Interactive Software Inc, among other parties.

YouTube eyes streaming game star Twitch: reports

US media reports of Google aiming to buy Twitch come with a boom in online viewing of real-time video game or computer game play as "e-sports" attract growing crowds as spectator events.

Asked about reports of the talks in the Wall Street Journal and Variety, Google said it did not comment on rumours.

PlayStation console maker Sony made an alliance with Twitch in 2012 to let gamers broadcast online play live for others to watch, and made the feature one of the selling points of its successful new PlayStation 4 model.

Microsoft also put Twitch capabilities into its new-generation Xbox One console.

Twitch bills itself as the world's largest video game broadcasting network.

Millions of people monthly watch video game play streamed using Twitch, which boasts partners such as the Electronic Sports League, Major League Gaming and IGN Pro League.

San Francisco-based Twitch was created by the founders of live video streaming platform Justin.tv - Justin Kan and Emmett Shear.

TwitchTV launched in 2011 and has made a partnerships to get money-making video and display ads to weave in during breaks in live game play.

Twitch "broadcasters" range from professional gaming leagues to individual players.

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