MLB Tech Group Inks League of Legends Streaming Deal

MLB Tech Group Inks League of Legends Streaming Deal

The group that brought streaming to Major League Baseball is moving to eSports.

The Wall Street Journal reports on the deal, in which MLB’s BAMTech will “pay a minimum $300 million through 2023 to Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s Riot Games for the exclusive rights to stream ‘League of Legends’ competitions.”

“BAMTech, a spinoff of MLB Advanced Media that counts Walt Disney Co. and the National Hockey League as stakeholders, plans to launch a streaming app for “League” in 2017 that will run on smartphones, PCs and other devices. It also will handle distribution of ‘League’ content it streams on other platforms, such as Inc.’s Twitch.”

How do they plan to make money? The post states: “The companies plan to make money from advertising and sponsorship sales that BAMTech will oversee. Revenue generated beyond $300 million will be shared, though the companies declined to detail the percentages of the split.”

Yahoo eSports talked with Riot Games co-head of esports Whalen Rozelle, co-head of esports and head of merchandising Jarred Kennedy, and BAMTech president of business and media Bob Bowman about the agreement.

Key points include:

  • “How it will impact Twitch, YouTube, television, and other live platforms: While Riot Games plans to keep HD streams and ensure that the “core esports experience remains as accessible as possible and free without paywall,” there is also the possibility that a premium experience will be offered later on.”
  • “$50 million per year is the minimum: The monetary value assigned to the deal may seem hefty, but BAMTech has expressed the intention of making more than the $50 million stipulated annually on average.”
  • “App and client integration: BAMTech has made it clear that the deal would eventually include the integration of an app.”

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