BAMTech, a streaming-technology company owned by Major League Baseball and Disney, has reached a massive League of Legends streaming deal with Riot Games.
The partnership will gain BAMTech exclusive rights to “stream and monetize” the esports scene of League of Legends through sponsorship and advertising. In return, the streaming unit has agreed to pay a minimum of $300 million through 2023 ($50 million annually) to Chinese parent firm Tencent Holdings Limited.
The groundbreaking deal further states that any revenue generated beyond the $30 million threshold will be shared between the companies. However, it’s unknown as to how that will be split between each party.
The creator of one of the most popular video games in the market assured its global player-base that the deal is not platform exclusive. While BAMTech will be handling all League of Legends streaming partnerships, such as with YouTube and Twitch, it will not change how the audience watches competitive games in 2017.
“We first and foremost believe in making sure that the content is in places where the fans want to watch it,” said Riot Games’ co-head of esports Jarred Kennedy to Yahoo Esports. “We believe in making content freely available, and it will continue to be freely available into the future.”
Next year’s League Championship Series (LCS) will continue to feature free High-Definition streams for everyone. That being said, BAMTech will eventually bring out a premium experience through its app-based streaming service. However, that will be alongside the “core [free] esports experience” and fans will have the option of buying into an even better viewing experience.
BAMTech is a subsidiary of MLB Advanced Media which functions as an online interactive unit for 30 Major League Baseball club owners. Its impressive portfolio of clients also include WWE, HBO, PGA, as well as the NGL.
BAMTech president of business and media Bob Bowman is looking forward to working with Riot Games and “pushing the boundaries of the esports viewing experience” in League of Legends. While traditional sports is televised, the potential in League of Legends is in its digital nature. Bowman pointed out that the amount of time registered through official League of Legends streaming channels is greater than any other sport in the world. Hence, it’s “really exciting” for the MLB streaming company to work on the most popular game in the market.