Sidecasting Sports on Twitch
Across the globe, sports fans turn to Twitch to stream their epic wins and chat about their favorite teams. For many, the tools you need to go live are likely already in your own home, and this article will give you a basic overview of how to get started!
- You can access mobile broadcasting in the Twitch app by tapping the camera icon in the top nav of your Android or iOS device.
- Twitch Studio is our free streaming app designed from the ground up to help new streamers go live on Twitch in just a few minutes. Everything you need is at your fingertips, including chat, channel settings, and alerts. Download Twitch Studio here. Alternatively, many streamers use OBS or StreamLabs.
- To ensure your viewers can see and hear all the action, make sure you’ve got an excellent webcam and microphone. Check out our Hardware recommendations to get started.
- Be careful when sidecasting games, as the majority of broadcasts, are subject to licensing restrictions. Review our Copyright page to help you understand the basics of copyright law and the tools available to you so that you can make informed decisions about using copyrighted material – including music, art, videos, etc. – in your stream to avoid copyright infringement.
Sports fans of all kinds flock to Twitch to watch their favorite types of content. To make it easier to get discovered, there are a few things you can do:
Title your stream in a way that makes it clear what sport or activity you’re covering
Use tags! Aside from sports like “Football” or “Weightlifting,” you can also use “Sidecasting,” “Sport Talk,” or “Education” to indicate further the type of content viewers can expect to find in your stream.
Personalize it! Your channel settings are a great way to create custom colors, add your own branded profile photo and banner, and link your social media. Don’t forget to add custom alerts as well to thank viewers for participating!
Add extensions! Extensions can help increase engagement through alerts, informational
overlays, and more.
- Most sports have games that naturally link to them (FIFA, Madden, The Show, etc.) - if you can, occasionally game in those spaces. You might pick people up who will stick around for your sports content.
Tip: You will need to select ‘Sports’ to stream in that category manually. For maximum searchability and follower engagement, we recommend using the Twitch iOS or Android app so you can select a custom go-live notification and add in additional tags.
Create a Stream Format.
Sports creators on Twitch often discuss sports news and events before the game, “Sidecast” live games alongside their fan communities, invite live guests via Discord, host a post-game analysis, or discuss submitted topics based on chat feedback. There is no set way to stream sports. Tip: Only stream or sidecast content that you are legally licensed to do so.
Don’t just keep your eye on the ball! Fans will often be looking to preoccupy their time an hour or two before an event starts and will want to discuss it for an hour or two afterward. Make time to chat with your community. For example, starting with odds, player statistics, or recapping past games, as well as recapping highlights and favorite plays afterward, can often provide high engagement and sought-after content.
Get your community involved.
Channel Points and Extensions are two products unique to Twitch that will help set your live stream apart. Channel points are a customizable points program available to affiliates and partners that allows streamers to reward their communities with perks. For example: for 500 channel points, a community member can request you root for the opposing team for 5 minutes. Extensions are overlays that work directly with your stream. They can display leaderboards, create polls, or add sounds that your audience can play with commands. Many Affiliate and Partner sports creators use Channel Point Predictions to get their communities to engage with their stream in new and exciting ways! Streamers often utilize Channel Point Predictions to increase chat engagement by allowing viewers to “predict” things like the winner of a game, the play of the game, or the length of a match.
We know when viewers get involved, they’re more likely to keep coming back. The CTRL+ Extension takes your stream to an entirely new level by allowing viewers to participate in your stream through polls, trivia, and additive information about your stream and community. Set up a poll, trivia questions, or use it to provide additional information about yourself, other creators, and your community.
Raids are a way to send your viewers to another live channel at the end of your stream to introduce your community to a new channel while having a little fun along the way. Before you stop streaming, use the /raid command followed by the Twitch channel name and share a fun message you want your viewers to send in the new channel. Channels that raid and or auto host grow faster than channels that don’t raid or auto host others. Be sure to consider raiding someone you enjoy watching. Learn More
- Bring your audience: Make sure to tell friends, fans, and social media followers when you’re going live, and encourage them to come to chat with you and join your community.
- Join in: The best viewing experiences on Twitch are often the more interactive experiences. Your audience will be chatting with you during your streams, so be sure to read your chat, interact with your community, and give shoutouts to people who follow and subscribe. Check out featured.chat and the New Viewer Retention Creator Camp to learn more about making your audience a part of your experience.
This overview is just the start of your sportscasting journey on Twitch! Your path as a content creator is unique, whether you’re streaming on Twitch as a hobby or wanting to make it a career. For more tips on how to improve your stream, make sure you check out more articles on the Creator Camp!
Check out our Community Guidelines to learn about what’s allowed on Twitch
Learn more about your audience with Channel Analytics.
Use Social Media to bring viewers to your stream (and keep them coming back)
*Internet connection required to watch and stream via Twitch.