Developer of League of Legends, Riot Games, is reportedly finalising a deal to sell all streaming rights for LoL matches to Major League Baseball Advanced Media. According to The LA Times, the deal will be for almost $200 million US dollars over 2 years.
Up until now, Riot games have utilised Twitch and YouTube for the majority of their esports streaming, but a deal such as this would see all competitions, like the recent World Championships which drew in millions of viewers, move solely to MLBAM's Streaming service. We're unsure of what impact this move on the viewership of League of Legends esports, but we wouldn't be surprised if we saw it take a hit.
The deal states that MLBAM is working with Riot Games to develop and launch a "standalone video application for Riot Games LIVE and on-demand video content." It goes on to say that BAMtech, a company owned by MLB, will handle most of the development for the app. One worrying part of the document mentions billing/subscriber management, meaning it might be a pay-to-view service.
There is no concrete evidence of the deal right now, but Journalist Richard Lewis broke the story, citing multiple sources and verifying to the best of his ability that the documents are real. When approached by the LA Times, Riot Games, Twitch, and YouTube declined to comment. Would this be a good or bad move for Riot if it turns out to be true?
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