PewDiePie, whose nearly 31 million subscribers on YouTube have made him the video website's most-watched star, will begin uploading some videos on a competing website before they appear on YouTube.
New episodes of "BroKen," a recently created online show dedicated to discussions about video games and pop culture, will air initially on MLG.tv starting Monday night. Episodes won't be available on YouTube until 24 hours later. Many consider MLG.tv the ESPN of the online gaming world, and PewDiePie is among the biggest personalities in gaming commentary.
"Our vision for MLG.tv is to make it the home for premium content and producers like PewDiePie and his show 'BroKen,'" said Ryan Wyatt, Major League Gaming's vice president of programming. "This type of programming deal with PewDiePie, one of the biggest stars in digital media, is a great example of the premier talent we have joining the growing MLG.tv lineup."
The deal ought to be a lucrative one for Felix Kjellberg, a 24-year-old Swede who reportedly makes $4 million a year from his YouTube channel. He's part of the Walt Disney Co.-owned Maker Studios network, which like other online video studios has been increasing efforts to find homes for content beyond YouTube. He will continue to produce other content on YouTube, Major League Gaming spokeswoman Katie Goldberg said.
In comparison to the open nature of the gaming video network Twitch, MLG.tv has positioned itself as a platform for premium gaming-related content that promises higher advertising and sponsorship rates. Amazon recently agreed to buy Twitch and its audience of about 60 million monthly visitors for nearly $1 billion, offering MLG.tv more reason to grow its monthly audience of 20 million.