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Expanding beyond games, Twitch targets U.S. political conventions

Twitch plays politics as it announces it has struck a deal with both the Republican and Democratic National Committees to broadcast their upcoming conventions.

It’s an understatement to say this has been an unusual election year, but now Twitch has decided to make it slightly more unconventional. In a blog post today, Twitch’s Brian Petrocelli says the video game streaming platform has cut a deal to broadcast both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. 

Petrocelli calls the effort a “public service,” providing Twitch viewers an “opportunity to engage in the political process.” He explains that since many Twitch viewers don’t watch TV or read Facebook, this is an opportunity for them to get a glimpse of America’s political process. 

Petrocelli’s announcement is interesting on two levels. First, it paints a picture of the average Twitch user as someone who only spends time on the Twitch platform, which traditionally doesn’t carry anything other then gameplay footage and maybe gaming news. 

Second, it’s a move that hearkens back to the company’s origins as spin-off of Justin.tv, which was a broader video streaming platform that shut down in the shadow of Twitch’s popularity. Between this and last year's Bob Ross marathon, it seems Twitch may have an eye on some kind of future with streaming non-games content while still presenting it for a video games audience. 

Twitch’s announcement also states that chat channels will be “carefully moderated” given the contentious nature of the two events. 

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